Modern Philosophy (PHIL 720.001)

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Instructor: Alan Nelson. This seminar meets Thursdays from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in Caldwell 213.

Our main topics will be space and time. The central focus will be on the debate between Newton and Clarke on one hand and Leibniz on the other concerning the ontology of space and time. We will, however, consider the historical background provided by Descartes, Spinoza, and More and also later developments in Hume (and perhaps Kant). Specific questions will include: 1) Are space and time relations, or do they have a more robust ontological status?, 2) Are space and time continuous or discrete?, 3) How do physics and the metaphysics of matter bear on the philosophy of space and time (and vice versa)?, 4) How does the metaphysics of mind bear on the philosophy of space and time (and vice versa)?, and 5) How are rational theology and the metaphysics of space and time interconnected?

Alan Nelson’s webpage