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PHI 124 — Logic across Cultures: Comparing Eastern and Western Philosophical Traditions

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 30—Mar 19
Time: 5:00—6:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 1
Unit: 1
Tuition: $465
Instructor(s): Mona Rawal
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
5:00—6:50 pm (PT)
Jan 30—Mar 19
8 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 1
1 Unit
Mona Rawal
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Studying both Eastern and Western philosophies enriches our understanding of humanity's diverse intellectual heritage. It encourages the cultivation of critical thinking skills and equips us with invaluable insights to navigate our intricate, interconnected world. Surprisingly, these traditions are seldom examined together. This course offers an engaging introductory exploration of these diverse traditions, with logic as our guiding compass.

Through dynamic discussions and engaging readings, the course will explore the profound role of logic in shaping both philosophical traditions. We’ll first examine the Eastern philosophical systems of logic from the Nyāya, Vaisheshika, and Buddhist schools, which engage with fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, and ethics. Next, we'll venture into the Western philosophical terrain inhabited by the Stoics and Aristotle, characterized by different but unwavering emphases on reason and the pursuit of human well-being. Finally, we'll engage in a comparative analysis, bridging the Eastern and Western worlds, from Confucianism to Aristotle, from Taoism to Seneca’s Stoics. Students will gain a foundational understanding of key figures, their philosophies, and how logic shapes their reasoning. This comparison will reveal the diverse approaches to critical thinking and the intricate logical structures underpinning beliefs across cultures. Students will leave the course with a broad awareness of the shared wisdom and unique insights of both Eastern and Western thought.

Philosophy Instructor and Chair, Department of Humanities, Foothill College

Mona Rawal has taught courses in symbolic deductive logic and critical thinking since 1998 in Mumbai and the United States. Her primary interests and endeavors are in the recent field of ethics in technology and AI. She is working toward creating interdisciplinary bridges in Eastern philosophical traditions and Western analytic inquiries. Rawal received a PhD in philosophy of consciousness and qualia from the University of Mumbai, India, and a diploma in Buddhist studies.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Bimal Krishna Matilal , Logic, Language and Reality: Indian Philosophy and Contemporary Issues (ISBN 978-8120807174)