Alma College

Below: Course Description | Grades & Requirements | Calendar

 PHL112

My classroom is rated R: lectures & discussion may include adult themes and language.

Winter 2008

Survey of Western Philosophy II
Modern Philosophy
INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser
email:  hauser@alma.edu
Office: SAC 347 | Phone: 7219
Home Phone: 231-271-6091
Office Hours: online or by appointment
Virtual Office:
http://members.aol.com/lshauser/virtoff.html

Newton by William Blake

REQUIRED TEXTS: W. T. Jones, A History of Western Philosophy Volume 3: Hobbes to Hume (2nd edition); A History of Western Philosophy Volume 4: Kant and the Nineteenth Century (2nd edition revised).
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES: Primary sources online at LH's Online Philosophy Bookshelf | LH's Mostly Modern Philosophical Glossary | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern philosophy grapples with issues raised by our attempts to understand reality scientifically, by our need to reconcile such attempts with traditional moral and religious conceptions and practices, and by our need to reconcile all of this with our commonsense understanding of our world and ourselves. Issues and problems that arise in these connections – and this course – include the following.  Mental representation: How does the mind reflect – if it does reflect – reality? Do all our concepts arise from sense experience or does the mind contain innate ideas which inform our understanding prior to all experience, informing, perhaps, experience itself? Does all knowledge derive from sensory experience or are some things known a priori (independently of experience)? The existence of external reality: Are some realities mind-independent (as realists maintain), or are things-themselves thought-dependent (as idealists say)? Concerning substance: Are there two fundamentally different sorts of realities, mental and material (as dualists hold), or just one; and if one sort, is that one mental (idealism), or physical (materialism), or what (Spinoza)? Other topics include free will and causation; God; the mind-body problem; the meaning of life; and the nature of value.

GRADES WILL BE BASED ON

ASSIGNMENT

DUE DATES & EXPLANATIONS

 VALUE

Participation

ongoing: online forums & classroom attendance

1/4

Commentaries

ongoing: best 2 of 3 (max.): no multiple submissions: until midnight 4/12

1/8

Term Paper

at final examination

3/8

Final Examination

as scheduled

1/4

APPROXIMATE COURSE CALENDAR
Class meets 6:30-9:30 TH in SAC 106 unless otherwise noted: Distance Learning Segment (Online Only)

WED

THU

FRI

Jan. 16

Getting ahead in your other classes & ready to hit the ground running with ...

Jan. 18

Jan. 23

Machiavelli: pp.1-4, pp.26-33
Bacon:
pp.67-69,  pp.73-91, pp.114-117
Hobbes: Materialism: pp.118-137

Jan. 25

Jan. 30

Hobbes: Social Contract Theory: pp.137-153
Descartes: Method, Self, God, & Substance: pp.154-176

Feb. 1

Feb. 6

Descartes: Dualism & Interaction: pp.176-191
Spinoza: God/Nature, Determinism, & Ethics:
pp.192-218

Feb. 8

Feb. 13

Leibniz: Idealism & Preestablished Harmony: pp.219-237
Locke: Empiricism pp.238-259

Feb. 15

Feb. 20

Locke: Rights & Government: pp.259-279
Berkeley: Idealism
: pp.280-295

Feb. 22

Feb. 27

Spring Break: No Class: Have Fun!

Feb. 29

Mar. 5

Hume: Empiricism, Skepticism, & Induction: pp.296-326
Hume: Skepticism, God, & Morality
: pp.326-352

Mar. 7

Mar. 12

Kant: Critique of Empiricism: pp.14-36
Kant: Critique of Rationalism: pp.36-64

Mar. 14

Mar. 19

Kant: Reason, Duty, & Values: pp.65-81
Kant: Autonomy, God, & Immortality:
pp.81-99

Mar. 21

Mar. 26

Hegel: Objective Idealism & Dialectic: pp.107-144
Schopenhauer: World as Will and Idea: pp.144-159

Mar. 28

Apr. 2

Utilitarianism (Bentham, Mill): pp.164-178 & Positivism (Comte): pp.202-205
Marx: Dialectical Materialism & Communism: pp.178-192

Apr. 4

Apr. 9

Kierkegaard: Subjectivity & Faith: pp.209-235
Nietzsche: Subjectivity & Nihilism: pp.235-261

Apr. 11

FINALS

FINAL EXAMINATION: MONDAY 2-4 PM

WEEK


Term Paper:
3000 words.  See my online term paper writing guidelines for specifics & suggestions.

Commentaries: 300 words comprised of the following elements: QUOTE/THESIS | PRO | CON | CONCLUSION.  See my model commentary online for an example.  You may do up to 3 commentaries, no more, and not more than one per week (to prevent multiple submissions).  I will count your best 2.

Participation: 140 pts. possible for attendance + 1-10 points per forum contribution: 100% = 400