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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2017/2018

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: The rationalists: Spinoza and Leibniz (PHIL10086)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will introduce students to the philosophical systems of the gigantic figures in the history of philosophy, Spinoza and Leibniz. It will explore how, while responding critically to but still working within the framework of Cartesian dualism, Spinoza and Leibniz respectively transformed the Cartesian philosophy in two radically different directions, resulting in (i) Spinoza¿s absolute monism and, in critical response also to Spinoza, (ii) the dynamic, pluralist philosophical system of Leibniz.
Course description The course will introduce students to the philosophical systems of the gigantic figures in the history of philosophy, Spinoza and Leibniz. It will explore how, responding critically to but still working within the framework of Cartesian dualism, Spinoza and Leibniz respectively transformed the Cartesian philosophy in two radically different directions, resulting in (i) Spinoza¿s absolute monism and, in critical response also to Spinoza, (ii) the dynamic, pluralist philosophical system of Leibniz.

Common to Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz is the aim to construct a rational and internally consistent theory in which metaphysics provides foundational grounding to natural scientific empirical observations and ethical practice. Examination of the work of Spinoza and Leibniz will allow us to assess the degrees to which they succeeded in this quest, examining how, for instance, the metaphysical monism of Spinoza leads to a necessitarianism that poses difficulties for individual ethical agency and freedom and how Leibniz sought through his metaphysical pluralism to overcome these problems.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment (PHIL08016)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesthree philosophy courses at university or college level at grade B or above.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  24
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 11, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Mid-Term Essay (30%)
Final Essay (70%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will gain an understanding of the systematic philosophies of Spinoza and Leibniz and of the ways in which the elements of their respective systems combine to form an integrated whole.
  2. Students will acquire the ability to analyze and critically assess the arguments Spinoza and Leibniz used to support their philosophical views.
  3. Students will acquire the ability to construct their own arguments for and against the positions Spinoza and Leibniz advanced.
  4. Students will gain an understanding of the philosophical reasons that lead on the one hand to Spinozistic monism and, on the other, to Leibnizian pluralism.
Reading List
Indicative Bibliography: Secondary Texts:

B. Lord, Spinoza¿s ¿Ethics¿
S. Hampshire, Spinoza and Spinozism
S. Nadler, Spinoza¿s ¿Ethics¿: an introduction
R. Popkin, Spinoza
D. Garrett, Cambridge Companion to Spinoza
G. H. R. Parkinson, Spinoza¿s Theory of Knowledge
M. Della Rocca, Spinoza
Y. Melamed, Spinoza¿s Metaphysics: substance and thought
V. Viljanen, Spinoza¿s Geometry of Power

R.T. Arthur, Leibniz
A. Savile, The Routledge Guide to Leibniz
R.M. Adams, Leibniz: Determinist, Theist, Idealist
D. Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad
P. Phemister, Leibniz and the Natural World
N. Jolley, The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz
D. Rutherford, Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature
C. Wilson, Leibniz¿s Metaphysics
B. Look, The Continuum Companion to Leibniz

J. Cottingham, The Rationalists
P. Phemister, The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz
Additional Information
Course URL http://www.philosophy.ed.ac.uk/ug_study/ug_honours/ug_hons_index.html
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures 11 hours and tutorials 11 hours.
KeywordsNot entered
Contacts
Course organiserDr Pauline Phemister
Tel: (0131 6)51 3747
Email: p.phemister@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961
Email: Annmarie.Cowe@ed.ac.uk
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