The Order of Eastern Things

English: Three Chinese philosophers. Lao Tzu, ...
English: Three Chinese philosophers. Lao Tzu, Wen Wang, and Confucius. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Teaching The Order of Things this semester has been quite good for my own thinking process, but boy was I wrong about this book when I first read it in undergraduate. It's hard for me to accept sometimes that I am no longer just figuring things out as a student would. The primary reason for this is because I am still figuring things out as a student would. It's a big barrier to overcome in perception, as you can plainly see.

I wonder if anyone has written a similar study of Eastern Thought, primarily China? I was having a conversation the other day about Chinese forms of political discourse, and some things Foucault is saying near the end of this book have me returning to that conversation quite a bit.

For example, is there a study that accounts for the rise of differing views of what counts as appropriate distribution of wealth in China that goes beyond opinion, and into the heart of what are appropriate objects of thought and study during the time of Lao Tzu, Sun Tzu, and Confucius?

The course I am teaching this book in is our newly minted Senior Seminar that has the overt goal of giving all of our graduates a common ground to stand on and synthesize their experience. As the first teacher of it, I've selected research methods as the focus of the course. This is why we are starting with Foucault, a book that they seem to enjoy, but are universal in agreement that it is the most intense and difficult book they have read in college.







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