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Phil 250-01:
Hinduism, Buddhism & Taoism

First Essay

Due March 2, 2010
Krishna teaches Arjuna

Construct a focused philosophical essay concerning Hinduism, focusing on four of the following themes (clearly identifying each). 

  •      Origins (of the universe, of gods, of humans, etc.)
  •      Number (Monism, Dualism, etc.)
  •      Brahman, Atman & Jivas
  •      Life, Death & Rebirth
  •      Liberation (Moksha)
  •      Purusha, Prakriti & Yoga
  •      Knowledge (Gnana), Action (Karma) & Religious Devotion (Bhakti)
  •      Ethical concerns: War/Peace, Good/Evil, Duty, Ahimsa, etc.
Your essay should be informed, articulate, and reflective. This means you must: (1) demonstrate understanding of the assignments, (2) analyze and evaluate those materials, and (3) express and explore your own ideas and opinions. Specifically, you must use at least three of the sources listed below in your presentation and discussion of each theme. In total, you must use (and demonstrate understanding of) seven of those sources, including the Bhagavad Gita.

You may discuss issues with other people (including classmates), but use standard considerations of academic integrity when preparing your papers: if you use an insight or argument suggested by another person, reference the indebtedness.
Length: 7-10 pages of text: typed, double-spaced, 12 point font, one inch margins. For those who wish, papers may be submitted electronically (disk, jump drive or Email). Late papers will not be accepted without advance arrangement and adequate justification.

Required Sources (at least seven): Rig Veda, Aitareya Upanishad, Chandogya Upanishad, Isha Upanishad, Katha Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad, Bhagavad Gita (mandatory), Gandhi's Selections, Isvarakrsna's Samkhya Karika, Sankara's A Thousand Teachings, Ramanuja's Verdartha Samgraha.

Philosophy at Oneonta
Website constructed and maintained by
Douglas Shrader / Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy
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Posted February 20, 2010