ALL 1911W: Mind and Muscle: Philosophy and the Martial Arts

Japanese cultural history functions as an unusual suspect for our investigation of Japanese philosophy. In Japan studies, the term "philosophy" is typically thought to indicate Western-influenced philosophy in modern times (the late 19th century onward). Even when its pre-modern precursor is mentioned, discussion tends to focus on Shinto, Buddhism, and Confucianism as its matrices. Far beyond such realms, however, practitioners of artistic techniques--such as martial and performing arts--already engaged themselves in conceptualizing philosophical problems: "What is nature?" "What is our existence?" "What is knowledge and how is it generated and transmitted?" The list goes on, encompassing such topics as "body" and "gender." This course explores this phenomenon. We will read Miyamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings," a famous treatise on swordsmanship written by a 17th-century samurai. Anyone interested in the topic and committed to learn is welcome. Aiming at Inclusive Design, it offers multiple options to enhance learning experiences.

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B+ Average (3.333)Most Common: A- (27%)

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11 students

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