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

Undergraduate Course: Reason and Experience: 17th Century Philosophy (PHIL10150)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will provide a critical overview of themes from 17th century philosophy from Descartes to Berkeley.
Course description Issues covered in this course include the nature of material and immaterial substances; the self and its relation to its body and to the non-human world in general; attitudes regarding animals and other living organisms; inanimate bodies and the mechanical philosophy; epistemological scepticism; innatism; sense perception, imagination, intellect; the epistemological role of language and abstract ideas; and moral issues concerning freewill and determinism and the nature of God and theodicy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Morality and Value (PHIL08015) AND Greats: From Plato to the Enlightenment (PHIL08016)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students will gain an understanding of the often sophisticated and frequently heated debates that raged in the 17th century on matters scientific, theological and philosophical. They will come to appreciate the inter-relation between the epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, scientific and theological positions discussed. They will learn to evaluate critically the arguments offered both in defence of, and in opposition to, these positions. By the end of the course, students will be able to defend their own views on these issues and be able to develop and assess different interpretations of the texts studied.
Reading List
Primary sources:
Descartes, The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, tr. & ed. by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch, 2 vols (Cambridge University Press, 1984-85)
Spinoza, Ethics, tr. & ed. by G. H. R. Parkinson (London: Dent, 1989)
Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, tr. and ed. by Dan Garber and Roger Ariew (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1989)
Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding, ed. by Pauline Phemister (Oxford University Press, 2008)
Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge / Three Dialogues, ed. by Roger Woolhouse (Penguin).
Secondary sources
Cover, J.A. & Mark Kulstad (1990). Central Themes in Early Modern Philosophy (Indianapolis: Hackett)
Clarke D. M. and Wilson, C., eds. (2011). Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe (OUP)
Woolhouse, Roger (1988). The Empiricists (Oxford University Press)
Phemister, Pauline (2006). The Rationalists: Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz (Oxford: Polity)
Cottingham, John, ed. (1992). Cambridge Companion to Descartes (Cambridge University Press)
Clarke, Desmond M., Descartes┐s Theory of Mind (Oxford University Press)
Garrett, Don (1996). Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. (Cambridge University Press)
Hampshire, Stuart (2005). Spinoza and Spinozism (Oxford: Clarendon Press)
Rutherford, Don (1995). Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature (Cambridge University Press)
Arthur, Richard (2014). Leibniz (Oxford: Polity)
Newman, Lex (2007). Cambridge Companion to Locke┐s ┐Essay Concerning Human Understanding┐ (CUP)
Ayers, Michael (1993). Locke: Epistemology and Ontology (London: Routledge)
Woolhouse, R. S. (1971). Locke's Philosophy of Science and Knowledge (Oxford: Blackwell)
Winkler, Kenneth (2005). Cambridge Companion to Berkeley (Cambridge University Press)
Garrett, Aaron (2008). Berkeley┐s ┐Three Dialogues: a reader┐s guide (London: Continuum)
Yolton, John (1984). Perceptual Acquaintance from Descartes to Reid (University of Minnesota Press)
Wilson, Margaret Dauler (1999). Ideas and mechanism: essays on early modern philosophy (Princeton UP)
Allen, Keith and Stoneham Tom (2010). Causation and Early Modern Philosophy (London: Routledge)
Popkin, Richard H. (1964). The History of Scepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza (Assen: Van Gorcum)
Nadler, Steven (2010). The Best of all Possible Worlds: A Story of the Philosophers, God, and Evil in the Age of Reason (Princeton University Press)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Pauline Phemister
Tel: (0131 6)51 3747
Course secretaryMiss Ann-Marie Cowe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961
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