PHIL 289 - Descartes to Kant
Winter 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course is an introductory survey of some important philosophical works of the early modern period, beginning with Descartes' Meditations and ending with Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The philosophers we will read raise some powerful challenges to what seem to be common-sense beliefs: for example, that we can tell when we’re awake, that the world is made up of many different things or that we’re justified in thinking that the sun will rise tomorrow. We will take up these challenges, consider the responses they offer to them and try to respond to them ourselves. In the process, we’ll learn how to understand, make and evaluate philosophical arguments. The questions that we'll consider include metaphysical questions like: 

  • Does God exist?
  • Is there an external world and if so, what is it like?
  • What is the nature of the human mind?
  • How does the mind relate to the body?

Equally important will be questions about how knowledge is possible:

  • Can we trust the evidence of our senses?
  • How are our beliefs justified?
  • Are there limits on what we can know?

Course Requirements:

Quizzes, short papers and a final exam.


PHIL 289 - Descartes to Kant
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
002 (DIS)
 In Person
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
003 (DIS)
 In Person
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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