This course is a survey of modern (i.e., 17th- and 18th-century) European philosophy, one which concerns primarily the writings of Descartes, Malebranche, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, with some attention to the writings of Copernicus, Galileo, Boyle, Newton and Clarke. The course focuses on issues concerning nature of reality (metaphysics) and our knowledge of that reality (epistemology).
Among the issues to be discussed are:
- the relation between faith and science
- the distinction between primary and secondary qualities
- the rise and fall of mechanism
- skepticism and responses to skepticism
- the nature of mind and of the mind-body relation
- realism and idealism concerning matter, motion, space and time
- the nature of human freedom
- personal identity.
One recurring topic is the impact in the modern period of the “Scientific Revolution”.
There will be two papers and a cumulative final exam.
No data submitted
The class will meet for three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.