David_Hume

Reading Questions for 10/30: Hume’s View of the Operation of the Human Understanding

In Sections IV and V of the Enquiry, Hume presents some skeptical doubts concerning the operations of the understanding (IV) and then seeks to resolve these doubts through embracing a skeptical attitude, rather than through defending human understanding against these doubts (V). This discussion complements the discussions of Sections II and III in establishing the…

By Bandan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Reading Questions for 10/28: Hume’s Philosophical Methodology

  Statue of Scottish Philosopher David Hume (1711 to 1776) by Alexander Stoddart. Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo Credit: Bandan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons In Sections II and III of the Enquiry, Hume introduces and justifies the particular approach to philosophical problems (and/or to the problems with philosophy) that…

Modern Philosophy

Cartesian Ontology and First Philosophy

In my PHIL 202: Modern Philosophy course, we just finished a segment looking at Descartes in Context. We read Don Rutherford’s “Innovation and orthodoxy in modern philosophy”1, and some texts from Montaigne, Bacon, and Galileo, which are included in Ariew & Watkins’ Modern Philosophy anthology2, before working through the Meditations, selected Objections and Replies, Book I…

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ANP on Matter and Form

For those of you who still have some questions about what Aristotelian Natural Philosophy has to say about matter and form, here are some things that might help: Step 1. Forget everything you think you know about matter (free your conceptual apparatus from the particular determinate ways you have learned to characterize the physical matter…

Public Domain

If I were Galileo…

Here are some more things to think about in preparation for the short-answer portion of the mid-term, which we will be taking on Wednesday. If we get all the way through Innovation or Orthodoxy on Monday, I might ask you to talk me through the main points here as well: Imagine you are Galileo. You are…

Innovation or Orthodoxy?

In preparation for our mid-term exam next week, I want us to play a bit of a game on Monday. We started off our discussion of modern philosophy by thinking about the interplay between innovation and orthodoxy that characterizes the intellectual climate of sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe. Under ‘orthodoxy’ we discussed Aristotelian natural philosophy…