Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought | 中国哲学思想中的人类与自然观

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Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought | 中国哲学思想中的人类与自然观

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FREE

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  • On demand

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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Course Description

We make ethical or behaviour guiding right / wrong judgments all the time but have you ever wondered where Ethics comes from, what it is about and why it is important? This course provides an introduction to traditional Chinese ethical thought and focuses on the pervasive contrast in the way Chinese and Westerners think about ethical guidance or guidance concerning what is right and what is wrong, good or bad.  Traditional Western orthodoxy uses the metaphor of a law – in its most familiar popular form, the command of a supernatural being backed by a threat of eternal punishment or reward – to explain ethical guidance. The Classical Chinese philosophers by contrast were all naturalists. They talked about ethical guidance using a path metaphor – a natural dào.

We will look at two rival directions this natural dào model took in ancient China. The first direction views ethical paths as generated from human sources such as human ...

We make ethical or behaviour guiding right / wrong judgments all the time but have you ever wondered where Ethics comes from, what it is about and why it is important? This course provides an introduction to traditional Chinese ethical thought and focuses on the pervasive contrast in the way Chinese and Westerners think about ethical guidance or guidance concerning what is right and what is wrong, good or bad.  Traditional Western orthodoxy uses the metaphor of a law – in its most familiar popular form, the command of a supernatural being backed by a threat of eternal punishment or reward – to explain ethical guidance. The Classical Chinese philosophers by contrast were all naturalists. They talked about ethical guidance using a path metaphor – a natural dào.

We will look at two rival directions this natural dào model took in ancient China. The first direction views ethical paths as generated from human sources such as human history and past social practices. The other Confucian version views guidance as arising from a distinctly human guiding organ, something like a combination of our faculties of heart and mind. This organ issues the right/wrong or this/not-that judgements naturally. This internal map to moral choices branches, like a plant, as we mature. The alternative to human-based naturalism in China treated normative guidance as natural in a broader sense, such as the dào of water or one guided by what is beneficial vs harmful. Finally, we will take a brief look at a development after the classical period that resulted from the invasion of the more super-naturalist, Indo-European way of thinking about guidance – Medieval Chinese Buddhism.

Although Chinese concepts will be the focus of our discussion, all the content of this course is intended to be accessible to beginner students. For those who are beginners in Philosophy, we will include a brief introduction to the ideas of logic that further shape the Western metaphor of a law and help us understand its role in Western ethics, science and psychology so you can better understand the different ways these two philosophical metaphors explain where norms of behaviour come from, what they are about and why they are important.

我们常常判断事物的正误,但你是否思考过什么是道德/行为准则,它来自哪里,为什么重要?本课程介绍中国传统道德思想,关注中西哲学关于道德准则、正误、好坏的不同理解。传统西方观念以“法”(即超自然个体的指令以及遵循或违背该指令所意味的奖惩后果)来解释道德准则。与此截然不同,中国古代哲学家们则均为自然主义者,他们以“道”为喻体来讨论道德标准。

本课程重点关注“道”在中国古代沿着两个不同方向竞相演变的过程。一种方向认为道德准则来自于人类历史以及以往社会的实践。另一个方向则认为道德标准源自人本身的一种类似于心脑结合的感官,该感官自然的发出正误、此彼等判断。有如我们内心的一幅导图,像植物一样,随着我们的成长日渐丰茂强大。中国的这种不以人本身为基础的自然主义对待道德准则的方式,从广义角度看待自然,比如水之道,善与恶之道。课程结尾部分我们会简单探讨古代中国之后随着超自然、印欧哲学被引入中国而出现的一个新事物,即中世纪中国佛教。

尽管课程重点讨论的是中国传统哲学思想,不熟悉中国哲学的学生也会发现课程内容浅显易懂。针对哲学初学者,课程包含了关于逻辑这一概念的简单介绍,以及它如何加强西方“法”的概念,以便帮助我们了解“法”在西方道德、科学以及心理学领域的作用,以利于学生更好地了解中西哲学思想间对于行为准则的来源、内容、及其重要性的不同理解。
课程目标:
•    学习描述中国古代哲学思想中的人类与自然观;
•    学习辩证思考中国哲学思想中的人类与自然观,明辨其优缺;
•    反思人类与自然的关系;
•    培养解释说明及分析辩证技巧。

Reviews 10/10 stars
11 Reviews for Humanity and Nature in Chinese Thought | 中国哲学思想中的人类与自然观

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Michael Adcock profile image
Michael Adcock profile image

Michael Adcock

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 8 months ago
This is a great course and give a wonderfully rich and vibrant overview of the classical Chinese philosophy period. Prof. Hansen really brings this to life with great knowledge, in context, with clearly identified interpretations of opinion, which add authenticity and richness to the material. Having journeyed in a entertaining way though Alan Watts colorful descriptions of Taoism this course gave me a more structured understanding, introducing some great new thinkers like Zhuangzi, who just might be my favorite. Huge thanks Prof Hansen.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 7 months ago
Wonderful course! Professor Hanson is great and the illustrations were fun, though I'm not sure about the aerial shots of his students . . . A lot to learn and challenging but the courses provided much to think about. As a retired professional I really appreciate the opportunity to learn on a college level from my home. Perhaps a little more activity in the discussion forums could be valuable. A really great course and if there were a sequel I would be first in line.
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Elizabeth Arlington profile image
Elizabeth Arlington profile image

Elizabeth Arlington

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 7 months ago
By far the best M.O.O.C.I have done in the last 2 years.In my seventies, I am not studying for certificates and a career ,but to learn about areas of interest that I have not had time or money to explore.I enthusiastically recommend M.O.O.C's to friends and family.I found content to be stimulating and deeply thought provoking. So much can be applicable to what is occurring in the world today.A course that should be compulsory for all politicians,community leaders and high school pupils. how I wish I had had the opportunity to this course 60 years ago, perhaps I would have made more sense of the world and control mechanisms.Thank you Professor Chad Hansen , for your presentation delivered with clarity warmth and openness.Yes, nature and science are strongly linked and together will surely save our planet from destruction.I plan to continue with the recommended reading, and will take much pleasure re reading the handouts.
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Nancy Gandhi profile image
Nancy Gandhi profile image

Nancy Gandhi

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 8 months ago
I audited this course (I did not write the papers required for a certificate). I found it extremely interesting, largely because of the excellent lectures by Prof. Chad Hansen, and the beautifully presented videos and handouts. Prof. Hansen clearly has a great depth of knowledge, along with enthusiasm, humor, and a friendly presence. One can spend a great deal of time with the additional readings, or stick to the videos, handouts and quizzes, as I did; and still learn a great deal. This is one of the best online courses I've ever taken, and I would recommend it to anyone.
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Pilar Reyes profile image
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Pilar Reyes

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 8 months ago
Although I didn't complete the course (no essays) due to time constraints, (I watched all of the lectures and did all the quizzes) I want to say that I really enjoyed the experience. Two main reasons: a nice and enhusiastic teacher (thanks, Chad) and beautiful animations. More reasons: I loved the introductory melody for each lecture and the quizzes at the end of each lecture helped me to summarize the main points. Thanks production team guys, an excellent job. Oh, I forgot something important, I enjoyed the humor that permeated the lectures and, again, beautiful animations. Thanks edX.
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Geoff Cockayne profile image
Geoff Cockayne profile image

Geoff Cockayne

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
This course was unquestionably the highest quality Mooc offering I have so far experienced from any provider or institution. The material is quite challenging, but most certainly worth the effort - especially in gaining a genuinely philosophical understanding of what Daoism, in particular, actual is. Professor Hansen engaged with students in a manner and to an extent I had not experienced on previous Moocs and have not encountered subsequently. I posted this review now, having retuned here to obtain a citation of professor Hansen's notes for an essay for the University of Oxford on the subject of the commensurability of Eastern and Western ethical systems.
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Clay Burell profile image
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Clay Burell

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 7 months ago
Prof. Hansen's lectures were always energetic, stimulating, and provocative--and the production team's animations and editing were of the highest quality I've seen in a MOOC. Ditto the Discussion Boards: never have I seen a professor and his team so actively responsive. Kudos, kudos. Those who have read Prof. Hansen's scholarly works will not be surprised that this is a pro-Zhuangist, pro-"Daoist" survey of Chinese philosophy. Those new to the field should understand that pro-Confucian (and even pro-Legalist) counter-arguments exist to the Daoist camp. Being more of a Confucian that Daoist myself, I had serious differences of opinion that Prof. Hansen often did not succeed in significantly altering with his arguments; but that's all part of the game, and Prof. Hansen and his team hosted this game with gusto and verve. Prof. H *did,* however, provide me with challenging new questions to explore about my understanding of some of the... Prof. Hansen's lectures were always energetic, stimulating, and provocative--and the production team's animations and editing were of the highest quality I've seen in a MOOC. Ditto the Discussion Boards: never have I seen a professor and his team so actively responsive. Kudos, kudos. Those who have read Prof. Hansen's scholarly works will not be surprised that this is a pro-Zhuangist, pro-"Daoist" survey of Chinese philosophy. Those new to the field should understand that pro-Confucian (and even pro-Legalist) counter-arguments exist to the Daoist camp. Being more of a Confucian that Daoist myself, I had serious differences of opinion that Prof. Hansen often did not succeed in significantly altering with his arguments; but that's all part of the game, and Prof. Hansen and his team hosted this game with gusto and verve. Prof. H *did,* however, provide me with challenging new questions to explore about my understanding of some of these thinkers. Finally, his insights on thinkers with whom I was already familiar were often eye-opening due to his framing of the issues at stake. A very enjoyable two months.
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Scott Lord profile image
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Scott Lord

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
Professor Hansen provide a very thorough introduction to Chinese thought, occasionally connecting the concepts to Western counterparts, such as Epistemology, Metaphysics and Ethics while chronologically outlining the development from Confucianism to Daoism up until the introduction of Zen. Thank you and good luck if anticipating a follow up course on the Gautama Buddha.
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Hannah Jo Uy profile image
Hannah Jo Uy profile image

Hannah Jo Uy

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
I absolutely enjoyed this course. It is my first MOOC and it was great! The material discusses the subject matter effectively. It was informative, enlightening, entertaining and stimulating all at the same time! If they start it again I would definitely want to take it again :)
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Constantina Koukiaris profile image
Constantina Koukiaris profile image

Constantina Koukiaris

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
This course was one of the most remarkable courses that I have ever taken. It was well structured and presented, comprehensive and efficient. Furthermore, Professor Hansen with his enthusiasm, methodology and knowledge motivated me to deepen my own understanding to the subject. Also, I would like to congratulate all the people who contributed to the realisation of this course and finally, the on-line debate was something extraordinary because it was a chance on a realtime exchange of perspectives from people around the globe with so different backgrounds and points of view. Keep up you good work! Thank you.
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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
3 years, 6 months ago
Excellent instructor and course!!! This is the second course on ancient Chinese thought I have taken (previous one, Chinese Thought: Ancient Wisdom meets Modern Science, was also excellent and should be taken if interested in this subject). There is no doubt that the topic is subtle and complex so, like the other course, this course can be difficult at times but the instruction and course organization is excellent so if you plow through it you will learn more. It is very time consuming more so than most MOOC's. Also a big disappointment is the use of peer assessed grading which results for all practical purposes in a random grade which isn't very good after putting so much work into the course. That is why I reduced my review by one star.
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