Philosophy | Early Modern Philosophy
P211 | 3767 | Spade


This course will survey main philosophical themes during the so
called “classical modern” period: the seventeenth-century
Continental Rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), the
eighteenth-century British Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume), and
(briefly) Kant. Our main topics will be primarily in metaphysics and
epistemology: the origins of knowledge and its certainty, the nature
of substance and of matter and mind, the relation and interaction
between mind and body, causality and induction. At the end of the
course we shall look briefly at Kant’s ethical theory, although
ethics will not be our main focus in the course. One of the
recurrent themes will be the influence of early-modern science on
the philosophy of the period.

There will be a series of weekly quizzes over details of terminology
and theory, two examinations, and one term paper of approximately
seven to ten pages.

Required texts:

Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins, ed., Modern Philosophy: An Anthology
of Primary Sources, (Hackett Publ. Co., 1998).

Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, Ellington,
trans., (Hackett Publ. Co., 1993).