Modern Philosophy (PHIL 220)

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Instructor: Alan Nelson. This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. in Caldwell 105. Prerequisite: One previous course in Philosophy.

Western Philosophy from Descartes to Hume (roughly 1620-1770) was marked by dramatic change and dynamic controversy.  Perhaps the most important issues flowed from the competing claims to knowledge of the new revolutionary science, of traditional religion, and of what we now regard as philosophy proper.  This course focuses on these issues as they appear in the philosophical systems of Descartes and Berkeley.  Spinoza, Leibniz, and Hume will be treated more briefly.  The eventual transformation of Modern Philosophy by subsequent developments in Kant’s thought will also be considered.

Course requirements include two take-home examinations and participation on Blackboard discussion forums.