- CC 300 CX - Early Modern Philosophy
- 3 Credits
MWF 9:00-9:50 am - Professor Pearce
Cross-listed with PHIL 280X
Fulfills humanities requirement - philosophy.
This course examines the arguments and ideas of some of the great thinkers of 17th and 18th century Europe. We will focus on the question: is there room for God and/or human freedom in a modern scientific worldview? This question has been chosen because it was of central importance to these thinkers and colored much of their thought, and it is still of central importance to us. It is closely related to a second question which exercised early modern European intellectuals, and which will also come up repeatedly: do events happen for purposes? We will focus on four philosophers: Rene Descartes, G. W. Leibniz, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. We will also encounter a number of other thinkers from the period, including Galileo Galilei, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Baruch Spinoza, Nicolas Malebranche, John Locke, George Berkeley, Thomas Reid, and (from the early 19th century) Mary Shepherd. We will also read some of the ancient and Medieval writers who influenced early modern thought, and some 20th and 21st century philosophers who have been influenced by the early moderns.
This course does not presuppose any background in philosophy.