The way we today understand reality and knowledge was largely shaped by philosophical debates of the 17th and 18th centuries. This era was also one of the richest periods of philosophy in human history. In this course, we will closely examine classic texts by early modern philosophers including Rene Descartes, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Anne Conway, Gottfried Leibniz, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. Themes to be discussed include: the fundamental nature of reality, our knowledge of the external world, the foundations of science, the relationship between the mind and the body, the freedom of the will, and the existence of God.
TEXTS: Meditations on First Philosophy, Rene Descartes, Cress, translator; The Principles of the Most Ancient and Modern Philosophy, Anne Conway, Coudert and Corse, translators; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume; Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, Immanuel Kant, Ellington, translator.