Philosophy | Early Modern Philosophy
P211 | 25128 | Abramson


This course is intended to provide as much of a serious overview of
early modern philosophy as is possible during the course of a single
semester. We will cover issues that range from metaphysics and
epistemology to moral philosophy. Along the way, we will keep our
eyes on three overarching concerns.  The first is that all of these
philosophers wrote in the wake of what we know under the name
of “the scientific revolution”. We shall return repeatedly in our
discussions to questions about how the work of any individual
philosopher was informed by their own understanding of
the “revolution” afoot—if, indeed, they saw themselves as writing in
the midst, or as part of, a “revolution” at all. The second set of
overarching issues will concern the interconnections and
conversations between philosophers of the early modern period, their
appropriations of earlier work, as well as their appropriations of,
and conversations with, other authors of the period not
traditionally viewed as members of the philosophical canon.
Third, and partly as an outgrowth of our other two overarching
concerns, we shall take seriously, and explicitly address as a
separate arena for philosophical inquiry, the question of how
philosophers in this period conceived of the project of writing
philosophy itself—e.g. its proper goals, scope, method(s), and
systemization (or not—as the case may be).