PHIL 2035 - Foundations of Modern Philosophy

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2015

All traditions in western philosophy are shaped by a series of challenges which occupied philosophers from about the seventeenth century. Philosophers in this modern period tried to come to grips with the consequences of an emerging scientific approach for our understanding of the world and our place in it. Ethics, political philosophy, the theory of knowledge, philosophy of language, philosophy of religion, metaphysics and the philosophy of mind would never be the same again. In this course we look at the work of philosophers such as Rene Descartes, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, G.W. Leibniz and Immanuel Kant on these themes, with particular emphasis on tracing connections between their arguments and those of present day philosophers. It turns out that many of our present day conundrums over, for example, the nature of political obligation, the role of experience in gaining knowledge of the world, the nature of the mind and our knowledge of ourselves, were anticipated and discussed by these thinkers.

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