Course Schedule

Updated 11/16

Week 1: Introduction to Modern Philosophy

Week 2: Context of Descartes’ Meditations

  • M (8/31) Montaigne, Apology for Raymond Sebond, “ The Senses Are Inadequate ”, Ariew & Watkins eds. Modern Philosophy (hereafter A & W)
  • W (9/2) Bacon, New Organon I, Aphorisms 1 – 3, 11 – 31, and 36 – 46 16 (A & W)
  • F (9/4) Galileo, The Assayer, “ Corpuscularianism” (A & W)

Week 3: Descartes’ Meditations (I-II)

  • M (9/7) LABOR DAY—NO CLASS
  • W (9/9) René Descartes, Discourse on the Method for Conducting One’ s Reason Well and for Seeking the Truth in the Sciences (1637) (A & W, pp. 25-34); René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Letter of Dedication, Preface, and Synopsis (A & W, pp. 35-40)
  • F (9/11)* René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Mediation One and Meditation Two (A & W, pp. 40-47)

*We will not meet in class on Friday September, 11th. Instead, you will hole yourself up in a stove-heated (or air-conditioned–your choice) room and try to perform the kind of philosophical meditation–on the things you previously took yourself to know, and on the ways you can call them into doubt–that Descartes invites us to do along with him in Meditation I. Once you have given this an honest try, write a short reflection piece (about a page or two) in which you try to take your reader through the thought process you followed during your meditation. What was it like to do this? What, if anything, do you think you discovered? Post your reflection piece to the Dropbox in ANGEL for full credit for the assignment, which will be equal to one quiz.

Week 4: Descartes’ Meditations(II-IV)

  • M (9/14) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Meditation Two and Meditation Three
  • W (9/16) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Meditation and Meditation One
  • F (9/18) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Meditation Two and Meditation Three

Week 5: Descartes’ Meditations(V-VI)

  • M (9/21) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Mediation Three
  • W (9/23) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Meditation Four
  • F (9/25) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Meditation Five

Week 6: Legacy of Cartesianism

  • M (9/28) René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (1641) Meditation Six;
  • W (9/30)René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, and Antoine Arnauld, Objections and Replies (1641)
  • F (10/2) Baruch Spinoza, The Ethics (1677) Part I (A & W, pp. 144-64)

Week 7: Early Moderns and Theistic Religion

  • M (10/7) Baruch Spinoza, The Ethics (1677) Part I (A & W, pp. 144-64)
  • W (10/5) G. W. Leibniz, The Principles of Philosophy, or the Monadology (1714) (A & W, pp. 275-83)
  • F (10/9) Spinoza vs. Leibniz

Week 8: Review and Exam I

  • M (10/12) Review
  • W (10/14) Exam Part I
  • F (10/16) Exam Part II

Week 9: The Age of Enlightenment

  • M (10/19) Transition to Part II of Course
  • W (10/21) Newtonian Natural Philosophy
  • F (10/23) Locke (and Boyle) Locke’s Essay and Associated Texts (A & W 305-15)

Week 10: Hume’s Enquiry

  • M (10/26) Hume’s Enquiry and Associated Texts (A & W, pp. 509-16; 533-38)
  • W (10/28) Enquiry, Section II & III (A & W, pp. 538-42)
  • F (10/30) Enquiry, Section IV & V (A & W pp.542-55)

Week 11: Hume’s Enquiry

  • M (11/2)Enquiry, Section VI & VII (A & W, pp. 555-64)
  • W (11/4)Enquiry, Section VIII (A & W, pp. 564-75)
  • F (11/6) Enquiry, Section IX & X (A & W, pp. 575-86)

Week 12: Hume’s Enquiry

  • M (11/9) Enquiry, Section XI & XII (A & W, pp. 586-600)
  • W (11/11) Discussion and Wrap-up
  • F (11/13) Discussion and Wrap-up

Week 13: Kant’s Prolegomena and Critique

  • M (11/16)
  • W (11/18) Editor’s Introduction, Preface to the Prolegomena (A & W, pp. 655-65)
  • F (11/20) Prolegomena: Preamble, The Main Transcendental Problem Part I (A & W, pp. 665-79)

Week 14: Kant’s Prolegomena and Critique

  • M (11/30)Prolegomena: The Main Transcendental Problem Part II & III (A & W, pp. 679-706)
  • W (12/2) Prolegomena: The Main Transcendental Problem Part II & III (A & W, pp. 679-706)
  • F (12/4)Prolegomena: Conclusion (A & W, pp. 706-17)

Week 15: Kant’s Critique

  • M (12/7) Critique: Prefaces and Introduction (A & W, pp. 718-729
  • W (12/9) Discussion and Wrap-up
  • F (12/11) Discussion and Wrap-up