Learning Goal: I’m working on a philosophy question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.

I. Review questions for true-false questions / multiple-choice questions / short-answer questions

  1. Briefly specify the following terms:

(1) metaphysics dao [HDT12, CPAZ: dao, metaphysics]

(2) de in its general sense and in its specific sense [HDT12, CPAZ: de]

(3) superior virtue (shang-de, in the Dao-De-Jing) [HDT13, CPAZ: de, self cultivation]

(4) inferior virtue (xia-de, in the Dao-De-Jing) [HDT13, CPAZ: de, self cultivation]

(5) wu-wei [HDT13, CPAZ: wu-wei ]

(6) the Upanishads: HDT17/18, IP27-32

(7) atman and Atman: HDT17, IP28-30

(8) Brahman: HDT17, IP28-30

(9) Karma: HDT17; IP10-12

(10) samsara: HDT17

(11) maya: HDT18

(12) avidya: HDT18

(13) nirvana: HDT18

(14) the three Jewels of Buddhism: HDT19, CPAZ: Buddhism

(15) Buddha: HDT19; IP41-45; CPAZ: Buddha

(16) Three Signs of Being: HDT19; IP48; CPAZ: Buddhism

(17) anicca: HDT19

(18) sunyana: HDT19

(19) prajna: HDT19

(20) Dhyana/Chan/Zen: HDT21

2. What is the relation between metaphysical dao, de and performance dao? [HDT 12, CPAZ: dao, de]

3. How does Lao Zi look at the relation between being and non-being? [DDJ, ch.2; you (being) versus wu (non-being)]

4. Briefly explain Lao Zis conception of wu-wei. [HDT 13, CPAZ : wu-wei; lecture note further explanation on it]

5. Could Lao Zis rejection of inferior virtue and Confucius emphasis on li be compatible? [HDT 12; Analects 2.4; my lecture note on the relation between superior virtue and conscious cultivation]

6. Briefly explain the basic points of Zhuang Zis (transcendental) perspectivism. [HDT 14, CPAZ: Zhuang Zi]

7. How does Zhuang Zi look at identities of things? [HDT14]

8. How does Zhuang Zi look at happiness and self-freedom? [HDT15, CPAZ: self freedom]

9. Briefly explain the statement that Tat tvam asi (That are you). HDT17, IP28-30

10. Briefly explain the statement that Neti, neti (Not this, not this). HD17, 18;

11. Briefly discuss how the Hinduist metaphysical understandings of nature of the world bear on its understandings of the human life and destiny. [HDT17]

12. Briefly explain Sankaras characterization of Brahman. [HDT18; IP125-31]

13. Briefly explain the distinction between the orthodox and unorthodox schools in Indian philosophical tradition. [HDT16; IP, Ch.1 (1-17)]

14. Briefly explain Buddhisms core idea–the Four Noble Truths. [HDT19; IP 47-52; CPAZ Buddhism]

15. Briefly explain the differences between the Mahayana school and the Hinayana school. [HDT20]

16. Briefly discuss how the Buddhist metaphysical understandings of nature of the world bear on its understandings of the human life and destiny. [HDT19; CPAZ Buddhism]

17. Briefly explain Ji Zangs double-truth account. [HDT20; CPAZ er-di-lun; my lecture note that elaborates this]

18. Briefly explain sudden enlightenment as understood by Chan/Zen Buddhism. [HDT21; CPAZ Chan (Zen) Buddhism, lecture note]

19. Briefly explain Chan/Zen Buddhist point of the attainment of non-attainment. [HDT21; CPAZ Chan (Zen) Buddhism; lecture note]

20. How to apply the two basic points of Zhuang Zis general methodology to look at the relation between Yin-Yang model and the Hegelian model (of how to look at contraries).

Hint: this question is a bit twist; however, if you really understand these resources, you can see: <1> the two models per se can be viewed as two models of methodological guiding principle concerning how to look at contraries; <2> however, at a higher level, we can treat the two models as two complementary methodological perspectives which point to and capture distinct aspects (stages) of the whole process of treating one issue (as what you do in your term paper): stage <1>, we use the Hegelian model via sublation to keep what are reasonable and discard what not; stage <2>, we use the Yin-Yang model to have those that result from sublation work together in a complementary way. Then we can apply the two points of Zhuang Zis general methodology to look at their relation.

II. Review questions for essay questions

Notes: the criteria for evaluating your answer to an essay question are these: (i) whether or not the required steps are taken (whether or not the sub-questions in one essay question have been answered); (ii) whether or not the key concepts used are clearly given, (iii) whether or not your line of thought are coherent or consistent, and (iv) whether or not you provide your argument / justification for your point.

  1. Give a comparative analysis of Zhuang Zis and Aristotles views on identities of things.

Steps: (i) What are Aristotles view and Zhuang Zis view on the issue? (ii) Give your critical evaluation of them: Would you think (part of) Aristotles view and Zhuang Zis view could be compatible? Why?

Hint: (i) : see the relevant class handouts and online session notes; (iii) see the hint given in my lecture note for the 4/10-14 weekly online session.

  1. How does the Yin-Yang way of thinking fundamentally bear on some visions in Lao Zis Dao-De-Jing?

Steps: (i) Specify distinct characteristic features of the yin-yang way of thinking (especially its distinct crucial features); (ii) Explain how does the yin-yang way of thinking influence Lao Zis way as given in the Dao-De-Jing (in view of those distinct feature of yin-yang way).

Hints: (i) identify those crucial features of the yin-yang model that distinguishes itself from the Hegelian model; (ii) explicitly address those crucial features of yin-yang way of thinking and explain how Lao Zi’s way also show these features by citing some relevant ideas/passages from the DDJ.

  1. Give a comparative examination of how Platos account of Forms, Lao Zis account of metaphysical Dao, Sankaras account of Brahman, and Buddhist account of the three signs of existence could jointly contribute to our understanding and treatment of the metaphysical issue of being versus becoming?

Steps: (i) briefly explain the major points of Platos view on the relation between the world of Forms and our sensible world, Lao Zis view on the relation between the metaphysical Dao and the world of particular things, Sankaras view on the relation betweenBrahman and our sensible world, and Buddhist account of three signs of being; (ii) how these four distinct approaches could jointly contribute to your understanding of the relation between being (unchanging) and becoming (changing).

Hint: relevant handouts – HDT 12, 17, 18, 19

Actually, in the 4/24-28 weekly session, I already give some hints of how to look at this question. As suggested there, there are two lines to think about this question.The first line is to think about whether or not and how these distinct approaches would be more adequate to distinct types of existence [e.g., Platonic approach might be more adequate to the math object, Daoist approach might be more adequate to natural objects in nature, …..]” The second line is to think about this: even for one type of objects, whether or not or how these distinct approaches might capture distinct aspects, layers or dimensions of the same types of objects.

  1. Give a comparative examination of Buddhist double-truth account and Zhuang Zis basic methodological strategy (i.e., his version of transcendental perspectivism) and explain how they can make joint contribution to your treatment of the issue of how to look at different approaches/perspectives.

Steps: (i) identify in which aspects they are similar (or kindred in spirit) and in which aspects they are different; (ii) explain how their distinct and shared aspects can make joint contribution to your understanding of the issue of how to look at different approaches/perspectives.

Hints: see relevant handouts HDT20; HDT14; CPAZ er-di-lun.

In the 5/8-12 weekly session discussing Ji Zang’s double-truth account, I already addressed this question, giving hints.

  1. Give a comparative examination of the Yin-Yang model, Hegelian model, and Buddhist upya model [see Reading 5, page 67] of interaction and transformation and explain how these three models could make some joint contribution to our understanding of the issue of how to look at different approaches/perspectives.

Steps: (i) briefly explain what they are; (ii) explain how these three models can make joint contribution to your understanding and treatment of transformation and development.

Hint: relevant handouts and reading – HDT2, 3, Course Reader – Reading#5, pp. 60-68.

Actually, this essay question candidate is partially our “old friend”: one of the essay question candidates in the study guide for the midterm is on a comparative examination of yin-yang model and Hegelian model; now adding one more model – Buddhist “upaya” model; need to understand what Buddhist “upaya” model is – see Reading #5 pp.67-68.