Find Meaning in Tradition

Wed, Apr 12

One response to the question of where to seek meaning in life is simply: tradition! In this class, we'll explore this method, and ask whether, and to what extent, tradition can be a source of meaning in life. To do this, we will turn to the Confucian tradition in classical Chinese philosophy, which placed a strong emphasis on familial obligations and conventional rituals as important ingredients in a good life.

By the end of this session, you will:

  1. Understand the Confucian concept of "filial piety" and critically assess arguments for its importance in a good life.
  2. Understand the two aspects of the Confucian concept of li -- "ritual" and "propriety" -- and their effects in a person's life.
  3. Reflect on your own relationship with your parents, and on the role rituals play in your life, in light of these Confucian ideas.

Read This:

Prof. Blaschko's students should read Chs. 3 & 4 of Angle, Growing Moral: A Confucian Guide to Life on Perusall

Prof. Christy's students should read and annotate this text via Perusall.


Do This:

Prof. Blaschko's students: Read and annotate the short "Application Article" on Perusall.

Prof. Christy's students: Read the short "Application Article" on Perusall.

All students: There is no reading quiz for today's text. Instead, just come to class prepared to discuss the content and engage in in-class activities based on it.

Watch This: