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Instructor: Alan Nelson. This course meets MW 3:35 – 4:50 p.m. in CW 103.

Western philosophy from roughly 1600-1800 is dominated by attempts to integrate traditional systems of politics and of theology with the rapidly developing, revolutionary, scientific understanding of the natural world. In this course we’ll focus first on René Descartes, the philosopher, scientist, and mathematician who did the most to set the philosophical agenda for this period (and for a good deal of 21st century philosophy). This will provide a basis for considering developments in Thomas Hobbes and Margaret Cavendish. We will also more briefly consider the philosophies of Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Hume. Topics include Mind, Matter, Space and Time, the foundations of morality, God, and the extent of human knowledge of these things.


Honors course enrollment and wait list procedures are located here. Please direct all registration questions to Jenn Marshburn (, Enrolled Student Services Coordinator for Honors Carolina.