340-912-VA, Modern Philosophy
The era of modern philosophy begins with René Descartes (1596-1650) and continues through the 19th century. In this course, we shall examine some of the principal philosophers and philosophical ideas of this time frame. Following on from the two traditions established in Ancient Greece: the Platonic and Aristotelian, we will survey the lineage of thought, first through the Medieval-Pre-Modern (Neo-Aristotelian) era, then proceed through the modern era following two “epistemological” (theories of the origin of knowledge) strands: A) through Descartes and the continental rationalists: Spinoza and Leibniz, and B) through the British empiricists: Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley and Hume, ending with the Kantian “synthesis” of these two traditions. Second, to this we will add some political and moral philosophy (Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke and Mill). We will end our survey peering into the 20th century, reading a passage from Sartre. If there is time, we will examine the "positivist", anti-metaphysical turn.