Professor Yang has been teaching at Renmin University of China since 1982 and won the “Excellent Teacher” Award from the Beijing Municipal Government. He teaches comparative culture emphasizing values, political philosophy and intellectual history, and supervises doctor candidates in those fields. He has been teaching at TBC since 1998 and teaching courses such as Political Histories since 1949, the Cultural Revolution since 2010, and Modern Chinese Literature in Chinese since 2001. In the U.S., he has taught at Towson University and University of Massachusetts, and lectured at Dickinson College, Wheaton College, etc. He translated Nietzsche’s complete works from German into Chinese.
The body of this course consists in studies of five ethical schools in ancient China: Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Mohism and Legalism. Since the course is a philosopher’s approach to those schools, the emphasis is upon the philosophical ideals contained in them, rather than upon any extended exegesis of the texts themselves. Specifically, the following structures govern the interpretation of each school: (1) a general introduction of each school: the text, most important characteristics, and influences; (2) central ethical ideas in each school; (3) the role of each school in the formation of a value system in the tradition; and (4) modern meaning of Chinese ethics: a transformation of a Chinese traditional value system into what is called Asian values during the industrialization of Asian countries. Comparison between Chinese and Western ethics will be encouraged.