PHIL 463 - Topics in the History of Philosophy
Section: 001 Descartes' System
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
PHIL 388 or 389, or permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

An investigation of the philosophical system of Descartes, based upon a careful reading of his major philosophical works and selected secondary literature.

The course will cover most of the following topics: epistemology and metaphysics before the Meditations, skepticism with regard to the senses, clear and distinct perception, the causal arguments for the existence of God, the Cartesian circle, error and the will, the ontological argument, sense-perception and the nature of body, the mind's essence and the real distinction between mind and body, the substantial union and interactionism, error in sensation, animal minds and the human intellect, laws of nature and scientific explanation, occasionalist tendencies, necessity and the eternal truths, and innateness.

Primary source readings will include the Meditations and selections from the Rules for the Direction of the Mind, The World, Treatise on Man, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conduction the Understanding, Optics, Objections and Replies to the Meditations, Principles of Philosophy, Passions of the Soul, and Descartes' correspondence.

Undergraduates will be expected to write two 7-10 page papers, and to take one in-class exam. There will be no final examination. (These requirements are revised from earlier postings.) Requirements for graduate students are to be arranged on an individual basis.

MODIFIED ADVISORY PREREQUISITE. The standing advisory prerequisite for PHIL 463 is either PHIL 388 or 389. Background at the intermediate level in epistemology and metaphysics (e.g., PHIL 345 or 383), or in 400-level surveys in 17th or 18th century philosophy (PHIL 461 or 462) would also be helpful. If you do not satisfy at least the advisory prerequisite, you are strongly encouraged to consult with the instructor before enrolling. Because PHIL 463 this Winter is an intensive survey of a single figure, philosophy concentrators are strongly discouraged from utilizing this offering to meet a distribution unit in the history of philosophy unless they have prior experience in PHIL 388, 389, 405, 406, 458, 461, 462, or 463.

PHIL 463 - Topics in the History of Philosophy
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBNs 052128807X and 0521288088 are *The Philosophical Writings of Descartes*, Volumes I and II, respectively. Do NOT substitute Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch, *Descartes, Selected Philosophical Writings* (one volume, blue cover). 
The Hatfield book is required for all students. 
Each of the Chappell and Cottingham anthologies contain about ten articles that are required for Philosophy graduate students and recommended for undergraduates.  
Cottingham is editor of two anthologies and numerous books on Descartes. Here, and elsewhere, order by ISBN. 
Selections from ISBN 0521423503, *The Philosophical Writings of Descartes*, Volume III (Descartes' correspondence) are required for Philosophy graduate students and recommended for undergraduates. 
Volume listed as "placed on reserve" will be on reserve in the Tanner Philosophical Library.
ISBN: 052128807X
The Philosophical writings of Descartes, Author: translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, Dugald Murdoch., Publisher: Cambridge University Press 1993
ISBN: 0521288088
The philosophical writings of Descartes., Author: translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, Dugald Murdoch., Publisher: Cambridge University Press 1985
ISBN: 0415111935
Routledge philosophy guidebook to Descartes and the Meditations, Author: Gary Hatfield., Publisher: Routledge Repr. 2003
ISBN: 0847684873
Descartes's "Meditations" : critical essays, Author: ed. by Vere Chappell, Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield 1997
ISBN: 0198751826
Descartes, Author: ed. by John Cottingham., Publisher: Oxford Univ. Press 1st publ. 1998
ISBN: 0521423503
The philosophical writings of Descartes, Author: transl. by John Cottingham ..., Publisher: Cambridge Univ. Press 1. publ. 1991
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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