Winter 1997

PHL112: MODERN PHILOSOPHY

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INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser

E-mail: lshauser@aol.com
HomePage: http://www.wutsamada.com/aol/lshauser
Office: SAC 227 Phone: 7182
Hours: TuTh 4:00-5:00
My Virtual Office: http://www.wutsamada.com/aol/lshauser/virtoff.html

REQUIRED TEXT: Cummins and Owens (eds.), Central Readings in the History of Modern Philosophy
RECOMMENDED: Secondary Sources on Reserve at Library, Online Philosophy Bookshelf.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern philosophy grapples with issues raised by our attempts to understand reality scientifically and by our need to reconcile such attempts with traditional moral and religious conceptions and practices and with our everyday commonsense understandings 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 are 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)? Concering 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; and the mind-body problem.

GRADES, ETC.: Classes will mix lecture with discussion. Primary source (assigned) readings will average only about 20pp./wk.; but the readings are difficult. Students are encouraged to consult recommended secondary sources in addition. Grades will be based on a midterm test; a final examination; a term paper; short written assignments (mainly written commentaries on the readings); and contribution to class discussion. See details below.

COURSE OUTLINE

week 1 (1/6-1/10): Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (Meditation 1-3: pp.3-19)

week 2 (1/13-1/17): Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (Meditation 4-6: pp.19-35)

week 3 (1/20-1/24): Spinoza, Ethics (Pt. I...II: pp.39...80)

week 4 (1/27-1/31): Leibniz, The Monadology (pp.83-90)

week 5 (2/3-2/7): Tuesday: Review. Thursday: Midterm Test.

week 6 (2/10-2/14): Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Bk.I...II: pp.91...178)

week 7 (2/17-2/21): Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Bk.III...IV: pp.178...271)

SPRING BREAK (2/22-3/2)

week 8 (3/3-3/7): Berkeley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (Introduction & Treatise [Sect.1-53]: pp.275-296).

week 9 (3/10-3/14*): Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Sect.I...VII: pp.345...376)

week 10 (3/17-3/21): Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Sect.VIII...XII: pp. 376...411)

week 11 (3/24-3/28): Kant, Critique of Pure Reason Preface to the 2nd Ed. & Introduction {Bix-30}: pp. 417-435)

week 12 (3/31-4/4): Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (Transcendental Aesthetic & Logic {B33...169}: pp. 435...473)

week 13 (4/7-4/11): Kant, Critique of Pure Reason (Refutation of Idealism {B274-9} & Second Analogy {B232-56}: pp.473-83). Thursday: Comprehensive Review.

week 14 (4/14-4/18): Final Examination (scheduled time)

*Last day to drop.

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GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS

ASSIGNMENT DUE DATE VALUE
Midterm Test Thursday, Feb. 6 1/8 or 1/4 of course
Term Paper Last regular class day: Th. 4/10 1/4 of course
Commentaries on Readings sort of weekly 1/4 of course
Final Exam as scheduled 1/4 or 3/8 of course


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