Philosophy | Early Modern Philosophy
P211 | 3204 | Beiser


This course will be a survey of early modern philosophy from Montaigne to Hume.  The main focus will be upon the central epistemological questions raised by the rise of the new sciences: How do we acquire knowledge of nature?  What is the foundation of kn
owledge?  What is the relationship between knowledge and faith?

We will consider the opposing answers to these questions in the skeptical, empiricist and rationalist traditions.  We will read some of the central writing of Montaigne, Descartes, Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Spinoza and Leibniz.

The main requirements for this course will be three short papers.  They will be graded according to three variables: clarity of exposition, cogency of argument, and understanding of the texts.  Each paper counts as 25% of the grade.  The final 25% will be
based on class participation.