Philosophy Around the World

Academic Year: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

This course is based on Dr Baggini’s new book How the Word Thinks: A Global History of Philosophy. It will introduce a number of key ideas from Western and non-Western traditions which are important for understanding the general shape of their dominant currents of thought. The selection is not comprehensive but designed to identify what it is most important to understand in order to see what is distinctive about each tradition and what it might be able to offer others. The material presented is intended as a starting point for students to develop their own lines of thought about how comparative ideas can shed light on philosophical ideas. We will be looking at how different traditions put different emphasis on different sources of knowledge, how they approach similar issues differently and how they formulate the key problems of philosophy differently.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students who have done the required work will

— understand several important key ideas in non-Western traditions and their relevance to Western ones.

— understand several important differences in methodology and assumptions in non-western philosophy and be able to apply them to Western ones.

— understand the potentialities and pitfalls of different ways of doing comparative philosophy and have a better developed meta-philosophical understanding of what philosophy is.


Course requirements

All students must attend the classes and are required to prepare a presentation (possibly with other students) for one of the lectures, agreed in advance with the instructor.


All other students taking the class for credit must submit a 2000 word final paper on a topic agreed in advance with the instructor. The grade for the class will be the grade earned for the final paper, though in exceptional cases extra credit may be awarded for participation throughout the term.

The final paper will be due on 15 April, 2019