PHIL 220.001 – 17th and 18th Century Western Philosophy

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Instructor: Michaela Tiller. This course meets TR 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. in PH 328.

In this course, we will consider the nature of reality and our ability to access it. Surveying a number of early modern philosophers, including Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Berkeley and Hume, we’ll consider the issue of existence: what it is to exist, and whether we can know that anything does. We’ll examine a number of (occasionally outlandish!) accounts of who we are and what we can perceive in an effort to build our own opinions of canonical thinkers. Readings from individual philosophers will be short selections from their most famous works, allowing students an opportunity to acquaint themselves directly with a number of figures important to the history of philosophy. A background in philosophy will not be assumed.