THE GUIDELINES FOR THE PHILOSOPHY PAPER
In this “Guidelines For The Philosophy Paper,” I shall provide the following: (1) “The
Instructions,” (2) “The Recommended Outline of the Philosophy Paper,” (3) “The
Sample Cover Page Form,” and the “Appendix 01.”
01. Your Philosophy Paper (hereafter PP) should be from a minimum of 5 pages (1500
words) to a maximum of 10 pages (3000 words according to the SJSU standard).
02. Your PP must be research-based, pointed, argumentative, and critical. To be
"pointed" means that you must (1) focus on a given point that you make and (2) give
sufficient reasons, arguments, and evidence to support your point.
a.02. DO NOT MAKE A HUGE POINT and let it hang out there by itself without
finishing it by providing sufficient reasons, arguments, and evidence.
If you wrote this sentence ("Lao Tzu is a famous Chinese philosopher.") and left it
there by itself like that and went on to write something else different from it, then, it is
not scholarly at all (and it is like you took your baby to the market place and leave it out
there by itself).
b.02. One academic rule is that you make a point to serve a purpose, only if, it is
sufficiently explained, well argued, and well supported. If not, it is wiser not to make it.
03. Your PP should be written according to (1) the “The Recommended Outline of the
Philosophy Paper” (if you do not have a superior outline of your own) and (2) the
“Basic Writing Rules” (for your adherence to the latter, you will earn 10 extra points).
04. Please read and use “The Recommended Outline of the Philosophy Paper” (Level 1
of the Dialectical Method) and the “Appendix 01” attached herein for the purpose of
knowing how to write your PP in a scholarly and dialectical manner.
05. To start the PP project, you need first to fill out “The Statement of Research Purpose”
(posted on Canvas Modules – PHILOSOPHY PAPER folder) and set up an appointment
to discuss with the instructor about your PROPOSED TOPIC and get the TOPIC of your
PP APPROVED by the instructor following the appointment.
06. You should submit your PP in its PDF format to Canvas before or on the deadline
07. Your PP must be written dialectically by using “the level 1 of the dialectical method.”
For whatever topic, you must have two different pear-reviewed articles (PRA) or two
chapters in two different scholarly books, which must deal with one similar topic or the
same topic in an important Eastern text (like “What is the Laoian view of opposites and
their relationship in The Dao De Jing?”). One of these secondary sources must serve as
your case study PRA or your case study Chapter. The books must be published by a
major academic press like Harvard University Press or University of California Press.
THE RECOMMENDED OUTLINE OF THE PHILOSOPHY PAPER (PP)
(LEVEL 1 OF THE DIALECTICAL METHOD)
A. THE INTRODUCTION
1_ The Topic Sentence
State the topic of your PP in the form of a philosophical question, like “What does
Confucius mean by ren?” or “What does Lao Zi mean by the Mother Dao?” or “What is
the Laoian view of opposites?” (the WHAT question).
2_ The Purpose Sentence
Explain the main purposes of your PP (the WHY question).
3_ The Plan Sentence
Explain how you plan to address the topic and accomplish the purposes of your PP (the
4_ The Methodological Sentence
List the titles and publication years of the texts (primary sources) and the peer-reviewed
articles (secondary sources) you plan to use for writing your PP (the RESEARCH qt).
B. THE BODY
I_ The Research
1_ The background information about the topic
2_ The main issues about the topic you intend to examine in your PP
II_ The Interpretation
1_ Explain the historical context surrounding the topic that the author provided in
her/his peer-reviewed article. If the author (scholar) failed to do so, then, make your
critical remark about this scholarly failure and resolve the critiqued problem.
2_ Quote the author’s interpretive thesis (if there is one) and offer your brief
thesis analysis (identify its key concepts and key points).
3_ Analyze all the main arguments (with quotes) that the author made for the
validation of his/her interpretive thesis.
4_ Explain how author cites quotes from primary and secondary sources to
support each of her/his main arguments.
5_ Your PP must be research-based and your reasoning and analysis must be
pointed, argumentative, and critical.
(To be “pointed” means making a point, sticking to the point, and finishing the
point with explanation, argument, and proof)
III_ The Evaluation1
In making your evaluation, you need to explain clearly what aspects/issues of the case
study peer-reviewed article you agree with and why you agree with the author.
IV_ The Critique1
In making your critique of the interpretations of the topic by the author (scholar) made in
her/his peer-reviewed article, you are taking a position.
For your critique, you are advised to make your critique by raising the one most
important problem you have with the interpretation of the topic by the author. By
raising this most important problem, you show that you can think critically because that
aspect of the interpretation of the topic does not reflect the view of the philosopher in part
or in whole (like the disagreements with and objections Professor Lau made to those
interpretations of the Laoian view of opposites).
Please read Professor Lau’s peer-reviewed article so that you can learn how to
make your hermeneutically grounded critique (posted on Canvas Modules).
V_ The Resolution1
Offer your resolution of the most important problem you have critiqued by using the
second interpretation of the topic by the second scholar as given in her/his peer-reviewed
article that you agree with it.
Please read Professor Lau’s peer-reviewed article so that you can learn how to
make your hermeneutically grounded resolution (posted on Canvas Modules).
C. THE CONCLUSION
1_ Give a good summary of the main points that you presented in your PP.
2_ Explain how you have accomplished what you set out to achieve (your
“purposes”) as stated in the “Introduction” of your PP.
D. THE DOCUMENTATION
1_ The Works Cited contains all research sources prepared either according to the APA or
MLA or CMS style.
2_ Organize your PP according to the “Proposed Outline…”).
3_ Give sufficient and meaningful quotes in your PP from the primary research sources used.
4_ Give sufficient meaningful ideas, info, & quotes from the secondary research sources used.
5_ Provide correct in-text notes2 for quotes, ideas, info cited from research sources used.
6_ Use the standard font Times New Roman, size 12, 1-inch margins on all sides of the
page, and no artwork.
7_ Your writing must be grammatically correct and all words must be correctly spelled.
8_ Submit a pocked folder that contains the hard copy of the case study PRA (peerreviewed article) and hard copies of other peer-reviewed articles.
E. THE COVER PAGE
One cover page contains vital information. Please check the “Sample Cover Page Form”
for your model.
How should you make your critical responses? One strategy is herein suggested: Use the
interpretation in the second PRA (or other scholarly sources) that you strongly agree with
as your research resource to make your evaluation and critique and resolution.
You should have seen the type of “in-text notes” used in the textbook (Phan 2002) and
my PowerPoint lectures. This is an “in-text note” (if you have not known): (Fung 1952:
14) used in “The Introduction” (Phan 2002: 19).
(The Sample Cover Page Form)
San Jose State University
Philosophies of Asia
Full Title of the Philosophy Paper
Student full name
Student ID number
Student email address
Student phone number
Class meeting time
Semester and year
A Methodological Application of the Hegelian Dialectics
(Level 1 of the Dialectical Method)
In this “Appendix 01,” I shall first restate the two methods that you can choose to
write your PP (Philosophy Paper) in a scholarly manner, and then, explain the
dialectical method that you are recommended to use to write your PP in
a dialectical manner.
There are different academic methods that can be used for the task of
writing a PP in a scholarly manner. I assume that each student, who takes PHIL
104, must have already learned and used one of the academic methods for the
purpose of writing their research papers in a scholarly manner.
Each student is therefore entitled to use the academic method that one
has known and used to write one’s PP in a scholarly manner according to the
currently accepted US academic standards of higher education.
However, if you are not really sure about how to write your PP in a scholarly
manner and even wish to write your PP in a dialectical manner at the level 1 of the
dialectical method, then, I strongly recommend “The Recommended Outline of the
“The Recommended Outline of the Philosophy Paper” is specifically
designed to serve as the methodological applications of the formula of the
Hegelian dialectics and the “Rosenberg Model” (Phan 2002: 42-45 and its summary
is posted in the Canvas Modules folder METHODOLOGY) for the scholarly
writing of a research paper in a dialectical manner. You are advised to read the
The dialectical method that I propose herein is the methodological application
of the famous formula of the Hegelian dialectics (which is known as follows):
THE THESIS <> THE ANTITHESIS > THE SYNTHESIS
What is the Hegelian dialectics? The Hegelian dialectics is understood herein
as a special method of philosophical thinking and writing that takes the two
interpretations of a similar topic or best the same topic addressed by two different
scholars and turn them into the two mutually opposing interpretations
and view them as the intellectual struggle between these two scholars (authors).
The first principle of dialectics that you should grasp is this: Everything has
its opposite. The “everything” can be viewed as the “thesis” in mutual
opposition to “its opposite” to be viewed as the “antithesis.” An example
that you to consider is this religious question: Does God exist? There are at least
two opposing views.
Monotheistic people believe that “God exists.” This positive claim can be
called a monotheistic “thesis” (to use the Hegelian language). But at the
opposite end of the line, atheists believe that “God does not exist.” This second
claim can be called an atheistic “antithesis” in its direct opposition to the former.
Everything has its opposite as conceptualized by the first principle of the
dialectics. The thesis is therefore the opposite of the antithesis. The antithesis is
therefore the opposite of the thesis. The thesis and the antithesis form into one pair
of opposites (giving rise to a duality or a dualistic unity) or they can be
called the paired opposites. Being paired opposites, their interactional relationship
can be and can become harmonious or neutral or dialectical whenever and
wherever they interact with each other.
The existences of the paired opposites as such do not make their
interactional relationship “dialectical” yet. Their relationship c a n become and
does become “dialectical” ( t h a t m e a n s m u t u a l l y o p p o s i n g o r
c o n f r o n t a t i o n a l ) , whenever, for example, a monotheist and an atheist confront
each other as they engage in an intellectual or religious struggle to argue for their
different positions concerning the very religious topic stated. Their dialectical
relationship as such may become m u t u a l l y a n t a g o n i s t i c o r e v e n m u t u a l l y
destructive, whenever, they become mutually hateful and even
attempt to harm each other. If the dialectical debate between the
theist and the atheist should produce a new and higher understanding
of the topic (“Does God exist?), then, you can say a “synthesis” have
The dialectics can also be created in your own mind when you take two
mutually opposing positions, stating that “God exists” (monotheistic thesis) on the
one hand, and that “God does not exist” (atheistic antithesis) on the other hand.
Then, you make the arguments to defend the monotheistic “thesis” and attack the
atheistic “antithesis” and turn around to attack the “thesis” and defend the
“antithesis” until you find and arrive at a new position (synthesis1).
If you understand the dialectical method or the method of dialectical thinking
and writing based on the formula of the Hegelian dialectics, you can use it to
write your PP in a dialectical manner.
I shall now provide the formula of the Hegelian dialectics (công thức biện
chứng Hegel) again and explain how you can apply it for the writing of your PP
in a scholarly and dialectical manner.
The Thesis <> The Antithesis > The Synthesis
I shall take this topic as an example: How does Lao Tzu understand the
phenomena of opposites and the true relationship between opposites? If you take this
topic to write your PP (I strongly recommend it), then you can apply the formula of
the Hegelian dialectics for the task of writing your PP in a scholarly and
For this philosophical topic, you can take the author D. C. Lau and his article
“The Treatment of Opposites in Lao Tzu 老子” (1958) as a case study PRA.
To apply the formula of the Hegelian dialectics, you shall assign the status of
the “Thesis” to the author Lau and his interpretation of the topic in their dialectical
relation to you and your responses to his interpretation as the “Antithesis” for the
emergence of the “Synthesis” (that is your PP and your new and higher understanding
of the topic).
In that PRA, Professor Lau can be said to have positioned himself as the “Antithesis” in his dialectical opposition to
other Chinese scholars (like Feng Yulan), who had interpreted the topic as the “Thesis). Professor Lau argued persuasively that
they had misinterpreted the topic (the Laoian view of opposites) and made his powerful responses.
The Cover Page
San Jose State University
Can the Confucianist Doctrine of Rulership or Kingship Be Applied For Modern Business
The Components of the Philosophy Paper and the Sequential Grading Process
1_The Cover Page:_________out of 5 points
2_The Introduction:_______out of 10 points
3_The Conclusion:_________out of 5 points
4_The Documentation:______out of 30 points
5_The Contents (Body):_____out of 50 points
The Research Paper Grade:_____________________out of 100 points
6_Dedicated Reading (See D.7 of Outline):_____(extra credits)
“Writing shall be assessed for correctness, clarity, and conciseness.” (One of the GE learning objectives)
Be reminded that the grade of your RP depends mainly on its scholarly qualities (forms and contents) as outlined and
demanded in “The Outline of the Research Paper.”
Student ID Number: 008941907
Student Email Address: email@example.com
Student Telephone: No phone at the moment
Class Meeting Time: M/W 10:30am
Semester and Year: Fall 2013
Can the Confucianist Doctrine of Rulership or Kingship Be Applied For Modern
What ways can Confucian theories of rulership or kingship in the Analects, be applied to modern
business management? This paper will discuss the positive and negative aspects of Confucian theories
applied in modern business management. This paper will first go over the fundamental essence of
Confucianism, then analyze the positive aspects of the theory, followed by the down sides of the theory,
when adhered in a business setting.
The documents that will be cited in this paper are:
● Duo Lei. "Guanxi And Its Influence On Chinese Business Practices." Harvard China Review 5.2
(2005): 8184. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Dec. 2013
● Goxe, François. "Innovation With ‘Chinese’ Characteristics? Reflecting On The Implications Of
An EthnicBased Paradigm Of Management And Innovation." Prometheus 30.2 (2012):
155168.Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Dec. 2013
● Guo, XiaoWei. "Counterproductive Work Behaviors, Confucian Values, and Production
Deviance: The Mediating Effect of Job Satisfaction." Economic Management Journal. (2011):
10451054. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
● Qin, Guoji. "The Thinking Way of Confucianism and the Rule of Law." Journal of Politics and
Law. 1.1 (2008): 6875. Web. 12 Dec. 2013
● Tan, Sorhoon. "The Dao of Politics: Li (Ritual/Rites) and Laws as Pragmatic Tools of
Government."University of Hawai'i Press. 61. (2011): 468491. Web. 27 Dec. 2013.
● Yang, Fang. "The Importance of Guanxi to Multinational Companies in China." Canadian
Center of Science and Education. 7.7 (2011): 163167. Web. 26 Nov. 2013.
● Yao, Yucheng, and Wenzhong Zhu. "On the Value of Traditional Confucian Culture And the
Value of Modern Corporate Social Responsibility."International Journal of Business and
Management. 3.2 (2008): 5862. Web. 29 Dec. 2013.
The documents that were referenced for this paper are:
● Biggart, Nicole Woolsey, and Gary G. Hamilton. "Market, Culture, and Authority: A
Comparative Analysis of Management and Organization in the Far East."Chicago Journals.
94. (1988): 5294. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
● Hwang, KwangKuo. "Modernization Of The Chinese Family Business." International Journal
Of Psychology 25.36 (1990): 593618. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 Dec. 2013
● Kim, Kyung Hee, and Hang Eun Lee. "Creativity and Confucianism Among American and
Korean Educators." Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. (2011): 357367. Web. 2 Dec. 2013.
● Louie, Kam. "Confucius the Chameloen: Dubious Envoy for "Brand China"." Duke University
Press. (2011): 76100. Web. 1 Jan. 2014.
● Sim, May. "Confucian Values And Human Rights." Review Of Metaphysics 67.1 (2013): 327.
Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 Jan. 2014.
In this section, I will talk about Confucian concepts of rulership and kingship and how it differs from
Western concepts of governing. But first, I will go over the three fundamental values of Confucianism:
Ren, Li, and Dao. Ren, which can be translated to mean “to love all man” (quoted Legge 171 by Qin
69) or morality, is comprised of two parts in the Chinese character. “The left part means the ‘person’
and the right part means the number ‘two’”, this suggests that Ren is the relationship between two
people and that the relationship “will be established when the people consider for others” (Qin 69). The
second meaning of Ren is “to subdue oneself and return to propriety (Li)” (quoted Legge 155 by Qin
69), this meaning is the reason why people should “love all men”. To practice Ren, one must show the
combination of considering for others and restraining oneself (Qin 69). With the Ren and Li, now comes
the Dao, which is the way for people to behave.
According to Confucius, there are three types of people: Xiao Ren (small men), Jun Zi (superior
men), and Sheng Ren (sage). The Xiao Ren “thinks of favors which he may receive”, the Jun Zi “thinks
of virtue” and the Sage could be interpreted as “a man of real talent and virtue” (Qin 69). During
Confucius’ time, the people lived in a state of chaos, rulers waged wars against each other, and people
did not obey their superiors. From this, Confucius came up with the 5 societal Dao: RulerSubject,
FatherChild, HusbandWife, OlderYounger, and FriendFriend (Duo 81). These 5 Daos were to help
stabilize society by having everyone following set formalities according to their roles paired with the
pursuit of becoming a Jun Zi. Co ...
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