Rationalism and Empiricism
This course is a survey of 17th and 18th-century philosophy meant to fulfill a core requirement in the 2-year MA program. The main aim of the course is to acquire knowledge of the central issues and arguments of the early modern period. Topics will include knowledge and skepticism, the nature of substance, the relation of mind and body, the scope and limits of scientific explanation, personal identity and freedom and necessity.
By the end of the course students will be able to read historical texts and interpret and evaluate their philosophical content.
For students in the philosophy 2-year MA program, these achievements will be measured by a written examination at the end of the academic year. Students who are taking the course as an elective are required to write a 2000 word term paper, on a topic of their choice, to be handed in at the end of the term. An outline of the paper is due in the 11th week. Periodic short writing assignments, based on the questions for the exam, will serve to evaluate your progress toward these goals and outcomes.