Early Modern Philosophy: Reason vs. Experience (PHIL*2160 ) | College of Arts

Early Modern Philosophy: Reason vs. Experience (PHIL*2160 )

Code and section: PHIL*2160 *01

Term: Winter 2024


This course will serve as an introduction to the major figures of the Early Modern Period in Philosophy, specifically of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries during which the so-called Scientific Revolution occurred. To properly appreciate this period, however, it will be necessary to understand what exactly its representative thinkers were rejecting in their attempts to formulate a new science. We will therefore devote the beginning of the course to examining the intellectual background to Early Modern Philosophy. Although the course will devote a significant amount of attention to the epistemology of the major early modern thinkers and their predecessors, the course we will also devote a fair bit of attention to developments in such areas as the philosophy of mind, ethics, philosophical anthropology and political philosophy. Thinkers to be discussed will include such well-known figures as René Descartes (1596-1650), Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704), and David Hume (1711-1776). Lesser known, though influential, authors to be treated will include Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and Francisco Suarez (1548-1617).


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