PHIL 720 001 – Modern Philosophy

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Instructor: Alan Nelson. This course meets Thursdays from 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Caldwell 213.

“Locke and Kant”

Kant’s “Copernican revolution” in philosophy required that the world conform to our cognitive capacities instead of our cognitions conforming to the world. Although Kant worked out this conception in impressive detail, the basic idea of such a revolution can be found in earlier writers—most notably in Locke. This course will develop an interpretation of Locke’s Essay that highlights its proto-Kantian features. That will provide a basis for an appreciation of Kant’s distinctive contribution to the revolutionary approach. We will focus on primary texts, but will also consult some of the best recent literature on Locke and on Kant (by Beatrice Longuenesse, for example). The main specific topics to be considered are perceptual knowledge of objects, space and time, and propositional judgment.

*This is a generously funded “Summa Seminar”: There will be distinguished visitors and other enhancements.*

Alan Nelson’s webpage