Major Texts in Philosophy (PHIL*4420)
Code and section: PHIL*4420*01
Term: Winter 2019
Instructor: Patricia Sheridan
This course is cross listed with PHIL*6710
This course will look at the rise of early modern conceptions of the relationship between individuals and society. Locke, Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft are all central voices in this period, who grappled with questions of human nature, equality, moral responsibility and the relationship of individuals to the state.
We will look, especially, at the responsibility individuals to self-perfect in the interests of social welfare and political stability. These ideas, as developed in the three thinkers we will be reading, capture an important emerging conception of the moral agent, and their social responsibilities, that marks the early modern period. These thinkers captured a zeitgeist, if you will, such that reading them offers an important insight into the moral and political issues that motivated many thinkers in this period.