Foreign languages and cultures
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Ester Bianchi
  • Ester Bianchi
  • 36 ore - Ester Bianchi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Letterature straniere
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The main purpose of the course is to provide students with a basic but comprehensive knowledge of Chinese philosophy and religions from the origins to the 12th century AD.
Reference texts
1) Anne Cheng, Storia del Pensiero cinese, vol. 1: Dalle origini allo «studio
del Mistero», Torino, Einaudi, 2000. Vol. 2: Dall'Introduzione del
buddhismo alla formazione del pensiero moderno, Parte 4 e 5.
2) One of the following texts:
- Andreini, A., Il Daodejing, Einaudi, 2018;
- Bianchi, E., Faxian, Morlacchi, 2013;
- Cadonna, A., Liezi. La scrittura reale del vuoto abissale e della potenza
suprema, Einaudi, 2008;
- Crisma, A., Neiye - Il Tao dell'Armonia Interiore, Garzanti, 2016;
- Lippiello, T., Confucio. Dialoghi, Einaudi, 2003;
- Scarpari, M., Il confucianesimo. I fondamenti e i testi, Einaudi, 2010;
- Scarpari, M., Mencio e l'arte di governo, Marsilio, 2013.

Other material will be furnished during the course.

1) C. GRAHAM: Disputers of the Tao: philosophical argument in Ancient China, La Salle, Ill.: Open Court, 1989.
2) English translation of the Analects, the Laozi, the Zhuangzi or the Hanfeizi.

Students with disabilities or approved accommodations may require accessible formats for course materials. Please contact the Departmental Representative for assistance.
Educational objectives
- Knowledge of the Chinese classical and imperial philosophy and religions (in line with the general objective of the Course of Study in Philosophy);
- Basic knowledge of history, society and literature of ancient China.
- Ability to employ the knowledge of the fundamentals of Chinese thought and culture in order to develop a multicultural and global approach to the field of philosophical studies, and to act as a cultural mediator.
Chinese language (highly recommended but not compulsory).
Teaching methods
The course is organized as follows:
- standard classes on the main topics of the program;
- special lessons and conferences given by invited professors;
- further studies (students will further be presented with workshops and with documentaries and movies);
- educational visits (museums, exhibitions etc.).
UNISTUDIUM e-learning platform will be broadly used both to share information and materials, and to communicate with students.
Other information
The course is is targeted at BA students in Religions and Philosophy of China, and at BA students in Chinese Literature I.
Learning verification modality
Mid-Term Exam Oral exam (8 multiple choice questions and 8 open questions) on Pre-Han Philosophy.
Final oral exam is conducted to assess students' conceptual understanding and provide them with the chance to demonstrate their deeper comprehension of subjects within the historical, sociocultural, philosophical, and religious contexts.
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 student's accommodations, see http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa.
Extended program
The aim of the course is to provide the students with a basic but comprehensive knowledge of Chinese thought, society and culture from the origins to the end of the First Empire. The course will first present Shang oracle bones' inscriptions and Western Zhou ritual bronze inscriptions. The Thirteen Confucian Classical texts will then be analysed (X-III century BC). The course will mainly focus on the so-called "hundred schools of thought" (VI-III century BC), particularly: Confucianism, Moism, Daoism, Legalism and cosmology. The synthesis and evolution of the Chinese thought during the Han dynasty and the Three Reigns will also be presented (III century BC – IV century AD). Finally, the course will present the developments of Chinese religions and philosophy from the Five Dinasties to the Song dinasty, focusing on religious Daoism, Buddhism and Neo-Confucianism.
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile
4 Quality education
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