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

Undergraduate Course: Advanced Topics in Early Modern Philosophy (PHIL10217)

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 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers advanced topics in Early Modern Philosophy. The course may focus on an extended examination of a philosophical question or problem raised or debated in the Early Modern period, on a particular Early Modern thinker, or on a particular Early Modern text.
Course description This course examines in detail an advanced topic or topics in Early Modern Philosophy. Topics will vary from year to year. The course may focus on an extended examination of a philosophical question or problem raised or debated in the Early Modern period, e.g. the nature of minds and bodies, space and time, or morality. Alternatively, it may focus on a particular Early Modern thinker or set of thinkers, e.g. Descartes, Du Chatelet, or Hume, or on a particular Early Modern text, e.g. Descartes' Principles of Philosophy, Du Chatelet's Foundations of Physics, or Hume's Treatise of Human Nature.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) AND Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, 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) Midterm Essay (40%)
Final Essay Proposal (5%)
Final Essay (55%)
Feedback Specific guidance will be given in advance of each assignment. Instructor feedback and peer feedback will provide formative opportunities ahead of final essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain the central ideas and the main argumentative moves in a key philosophical debate or text in Early Modern philosophy.
  2. Interpret the main claims and arguments in an Early Modern philosophical text.
  3. Compare and contrast the views of two philosophers, including at least one Early Modern philosopher
  4. Plan an original essay in which they analyze and critically evaluate the views and arguments of one or more Early Modern philosophers
  5. Write an original essay in which they analyze and critically evaluate the views and arguments of one or more Early Modern philosophers
Reading List
Representative Readings:

Primary Texts

René Descartes, The Philosophical Writings of René Descartes, Three Vols., translated and edited by J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, D. Murdoch, and A. Kenny. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985-1992)

Émilie Du Châtelet, Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings, edited by Judith P. Zinsser. (Chicago, IL: U. Chicago Press, 2009)

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)

John Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding, edited by P. H. Nidditch. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975)

Benedict de Spinoza, A Spinoza Reader: The Ethics and Other Works, translated and edited by Edwin Curley. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994)

Secondary Texts

Broughton, Janet and John Carriero (eds.), A Companion to Descartes. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008)

Coventry, Angela and Alexander Sager (eds.), The Humean Mind. (New York: Routledge, 2019)

Duncan, Stuart and Antonia LoLordo (eds.), Debates in Modern Philosophy. (New York: Routledge, 2013)

Garrett, Don (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995)

O'Neill, Eileen and Marcy Lascano (eds.), Feminist History of Philosophy: The Recovery and Evaluation of Women's Philosophical Thought. (Springer, 2019)

Stuart, Matthew (ed.), A Companion to Locke. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2016)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Mindsets: Enquiry and lifelong learning; Outlook and engagement.
Skills: Personal and intellectual autonomy; Communication.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Pauline Phemister
Tel: (0131 6)51 3747
Course secretary
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