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Instructor: Alan Nelson. This course meets TR 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. in CW 103.

Western philosophy from roughly 1600-1800 is dominated by attempts to integrate traditional systems of theology and politics with the rapidly developing, revolutionary, scientific understanding of the natural world. In this course we’ll focus 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 more briefly considering developments in Hobbes, Cavendish, Spinoza, Berkeley, Leibniz, Hume, and Kant. Topics include Mind, Matter, Space and Time, the foundations of morality, God, and the extent of human knowledge of these things. There are no prerequisites, but this course is especially recommended for Philosophy majors and minors.