European philosophy in 17th and 18th centuries both responded to, and shaped in its turn, major revolutions in scientific and political thought. The legacy of this intellectually fertile period is still felt in contemporary epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. We will consider some of the questions that are both central to the modern era and philosophically important today: What are the origins, nature and limits of human knowledge? How should scientific inquiry proceed? What is the nature of reality, and how can it be known? What is the relationship between the mind and the body? How should we think about causality in the material world, and how about causality that involves persons as agents? Are we free or determined? Are there compelling reasons to be moral? What is the nature of moral thinking and acting? How can our social and political institutions be explained and justified? We will read a necessarily limited selection of writings by the most important thinkers of the modern period: Descartes, Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, Hume, Reid, Rousseau and Kant.
Class Format: lecture with some discussions
Requirements/Evaluation: class attendance and preparedness; participation in weekly discussion groups, with rotating short reports on these meetings; 8 short assignments; a midterm and a final exam
Additional Info: The course is not writing intensive, but it is reading intensive; the assignments are structured in such a manner that you should expect to do a substantial amount of evaluated work every week of the semester.
Prerequisites: none; open to first year students
Department Notes: Required course for Philosophy majors
Material and Lab Fees:
Divisional Attributes: Division II
Enrollment Limit: none
Expected Enrollment: 30
Class Number: 3310
|PHIL202-01(S) LEC History of Modern Philosophy||Bojana Mladenovic
||MWF 11:00 AM-12:15 PM Hopkins Hall 002||3310|