Introduction to Korean Philosophy and Culture

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  • What is Korean philosophy?
    • This week, we’re going to look at what Korean philosophy is, and what makes it different from the Western philosophy that you might be accustomed to. We’ll also be looking at Chinese philosophy in comparison to Korean philosophy, because it has had a large influence on the evolution of Korean philosophy.
  • How does Innovation occur at Cultural Boundaries?
    • This week, we will look at how Koreans formed their own culture and ideas. What we consider to be “Korean” today is the result of their long-standing self-awareness and tenacious practice of reconstructing the cultures from outside. Among them, the Chinese culture had the deepest influence on pre-modern Korea. We will explore ways Koreans have adapted and innovated at cultural boundaries.
  • What are the Core Debates of Korean Philosophy?
    • This week, we will cover two traits that are often used to describe Koreans: One is “Koreans are affectionate” and the other is “Koreans are argumentative.” We will focus on these two seemingly contradictory characteristics of Koreans and revisit the two famous debates in the history of Korean philosophy: the Four-Seven Debate and the Horak Debate.
  • How do you think through Korean Philosophy?
    • Koreans have developed their way of thinking by innovating on knowledge at cultural boundaries. What they developed are reflected in contemporary Korean language. This week, we are going to talk about the core ideas of Korean philosophy that have endured up till now. We’ll see how we can think differently about the world through these ideas.