PHIL 422.001 – Empiricism

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Instructor: Alan Nelson. This course meets R 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in CW 213.

This is an intensive survey course of modern empiricism intended for graduate students and motivated undergraduate philosophy majors.  We will read selections from Hobbes’ Leviathan, Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Berkeley’s Principles of Human Knowledge, and Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature. The principal focuses will be knowledge, philosophy of mind, and philosophical methodology.  We will also discuss to what extent the distinction between empiricism and rationalism can be made useful.  This might lead us at the end of the course into some contemporary issues in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences.

All of the texts are online in the UNC library, but a message will be sent to registered students with information for those who prefer some paper books.  Some online secondary literature will also be consulted.  Undergraduates will have the option of writing two papers or doing two take-home examinations.

Undergraduate enrollment is by permission of the instructor: anelson@unc.edu.