PHIL 340
Locke and Leibniz Spring 2017
Division II Writing Skills
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Modern philosophy centers on two debates: Empiricism vs. Rationalism and Realism vs. Idealism. Locke is the first great Empiricist Realist, and Leibniz the greatest Rationalist Idealist. The debate between Empiricism and Rationalism concerns whether all our knowledge derives from experience, or any is innate. The debate between Realism and Idealism concerns whether reality is composed of mind-independent matter, or mind-like substances. Leibniz wrote his New Essays in 1704 as a critical response to Locke’s Essay of 1690. He hoped it would occasion a public debate between Locke and himself, and prompt the intellectual community to decide, once and for all, between Empiricism and Rationalism, Realism and Idealism, and on related issues concerning the mind, language, truth, God, natural kinds, causation, and freedom. The debate never transpired – indeed, Leibniz suppressed his New Essays – because of Locke’s death in 1705. This tutorial will bring to life the debate between Locke and Leibniz, and enable students to reach their own conclusions about Empiricism vs. Rationalism, Realism vs. Idealism, and related issues.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3935
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly tutorial papers and response essays
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: PHIL 202 History of Modern Philosophy, or instructor's permission
Enrollment Preferences: preference to Philosophy majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: PHIL History Courses

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