Foreign languages and cultures
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Ester Bianchi
  • Ester Bianchi
  • 54 ore - Ester Bianchi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2022
Learning activities
Letterature straniere
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
This course is to impart a basic knowledge of Classical and Literary Chinese language through the study of a selection of classical and medieval philosophical texts.
Reference texts
1) Andreini, Attilio, Baccini, Giulia, Scarpari, Maurizio, Corso di Lingua Cinese Classica e Letteraria, Hoepli, Milano, 2022.
2) Ann Cheng, Storia del Pensiero cinese, vol. 1: Dalle origini allo «studio del Mistero», Torino, Einaudi, 2000.
3) Dictionaries (suggested):
- Le Grand Ricci numèrique: dictionnaire encyclopédique de la langue chinoise, (updated electronic version of the Grand dictionnaire Ricci de la
langue chinoise, Association Ricci e Descléè de Brouwer, Paris, 2001, 6 voll.), Association Ricci, Paris, 2010 (digital version for Pleco also
- Paul W. Kroll (ed.), A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, Brill, 2014.
4) Other material and texts will be provided during the course.
1) E.G. Pulleyblank, Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar, UBC Press, Vancouver 1995.
2) C. Graham, Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China, La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1989.
Optional Text: Scarpari, Maurizio, e Andreini, Attilio, La lingua cinese classica, Hoepli, Milano, 2020.

Students with disabilities or approved accommodations may require accessible formats for course materials. Please contact the Departmental Representative for assistance.
Educational objectives
This course enables students to engage with a selection of classical and medieval philosophical texts in their original form, in line with the general objective of the Course of Study in Philosophy: improvement of general knowledge of the historical evolution of philosophical thought, and acquisition of additional cultural foundations necessary for teaching philosophy (knowledge).
The course aims to enhance skills in theoretical analysis of East Asian thought, specifically in exploring various aspects of human existence, including social, political, religious, aesthetic, and cognitive dimensions. These objectives also align with the goals of the Course.
It also introduces to the fundamentals of classical Chinese language (knowledge); this will allow for a better understanding of the use of classical patterns in modern Chinese (ability).
Knowledge of classical Chinese history and thought. A basic command of modern Chinese language is necessary (at least A1 level ).
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:
- standard classes on Classical Chinese grammar;
- reading, analysis and translation of the selected philosophical texts (students are requested to prepare the texts before class).
UNISTUDIUM e-learning platform will be broadly used both to share information and materials, and to communicate with students.
Other information
The course is targeted at MA students in Religions and Philosophy of China, and at BA students in Chinese Literature II.
** Students who do not have a basic command of modern Chinese language and do not intend to study Chinese language, can follow the course of Society and Culture of China (which will count formally as Chinese Religions and Philosophy).
Learning verification modality
The optional mid-term exam aims at testing students' knowledge of classical Chinese grammar.
The final oral exam will last ca. half an hour and include a grammar test (students who have taken the mid-term exam are exempt) and in the reading, analysis and translation of the texts translated in class.
The two tests (grammar test and reading and comprehension) are aimed at verifying the knowledge of classical Chinese grammar (with a focus on the use of classical patterns in the modern language) and at examining students' understanding of the selected readings and their philosophical context in ancient China.

In general terms, the exam focuses on the following aspects:
· Knowledge and understanding - Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: Summary
· Knowledge and understanding - Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: Detail
· Autonomy of judgment, understood as the ability to produce autonomous judgments, arriving at coherent reflections on social, scientific or ethical issues;
· Communication skills, conceived as the ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to other interlocutors;
· Learning ability, understood as the necessary skill to advance in studies with a high degree of autonomy

In case a student intends to anticipate his/her exam in a year preceding the one it is scheduled in his/her curriculum, it is recommended to anticipate as well the attendance of the lessons and to schedule the exam in the first useful session after the lessons have been concluded.

For information on support services for students with disabilities and / or DSA visit the page http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Extended program
The main purpose of the course is to provide students with a basic knowledge of Classical Chinese language through the study of fundamentals of grammar (first module) and the analysis and translation of selected texts from philosophical texts such as the Lunyu, Mozi, Mengzi and Xunzi, Laozi, Zhuangzi and medieval Daoist and Buddhist texts.
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