Philosophy 205 — Modern Philosophy                                 1:00-2:00 MWF,  MI  213

D. Vessey                   363-2146 (Office)                               Office Hours:   MI  210

vesseyd@beloit.edu                                                                            MW   2:00-3:30

                                                                                                            Th       1:00-3:00

                                                                                                            and by appointment  

 

Required Texts:          

            Ariew and Watkins , Modern Philosophy

            Atherton, Women Philosophers in the Early Modern Period

            Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence

            Additional photocopied readings from Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hume,                       Kant, Woolstonecraft, Paine, and Burke.

 

            This course has as its main focus understanding the dominant philosophical views and issues of Modern (17th and 18th century) Western (European) philosophy.  Since reading and interpreting the texts will be the central focus of the course, the assignments will focus on facilitating an understanding of the reading.  There are only four types of assignments: Readings, Study Guides, Motivated Questions,  and Tests.  Everyone must sign up for one day and distribute in class in the class period before that day, a study guide for the reading of that day. The study guide must be typed, must have the author, title and source of the work at the top of the page, must provide the definitions (and page references) for all technical terms, and must list as concisely as possible the ten most important distinct philosophical points made by the author.  Copies must be made for everyone in class, and the typo policy (one grade lowered for every four typos—grammatical errors, spelling errors, improper use of gendered pronouns, and failure to properly reference quotations) applies. In addition the class will divide into thirds and everyone will be assigned a day (Monday, Wednesday or Friday). Each night before class by 9:00PM one third of the class must post a Motivated Question based on the reading to the phil205 listserv (phil205-l).  Either the night before or the morning of the class everyone must read everyone else’s motivated questions. These questions will be used to facilitate understanding the material in class. The motivated questions can range from questions of interpretation to criticism but either way they must be more than mere questions (e.g. “What does Descartes mean by “formal reality”?).  Instead they must show a knowledge of the context and importance of the question.  (Descartes introduces the distinction between formal and objective reality, but his only criterion for believing in the distinction is “the light of nature”(p. 28). Accepting “the light of nature” as straight-forwardly reliable would seem to undermine his foundational project, but he can’t say it’s given by God since it’s being used to prove God’s existence. How would he answer this concern?) The typo policy does not apply to the Motivated Questions. (But they should be typo free anyway.) There will be two take home, open book exams—a Mid-Term and a Final—where you will have to write a number of essays.

 

Study Guide: 15%                                                      Attendance/Participation: 25%

Motivated Questions: 10%                                        Tests: 50% (25% each)

 

 

Recommended sites:   http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/index.htm

                                                http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-femhist/

                       

 

1. Wed, Jan. 17                       Introductions

 

2. Thurs,  Jan 18         Background to the Moderns

                                                Reading: Barzun pp. 4-64

 

2. Fri, Jan. 19              Background to the Moderns

                                                Reading: Barzun pp. 65-143

 

 

 

3. Mon, Jan. 22           Background to the Moderns

                                                Reading: Barzun pp. 145-235

 

4. Wed, Jan. 24           Background to Descartes

                                                Required Reading: Galileo, Descartes’ Discourse, Letter of                                                   Dedication, Preface and Synopsis

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 8-27

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 63-90

 

5. Fri, Jan. 26              Descartes

                                                Required Reading:  Meditation I & II

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 27-34

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 90-116  

 

 

 

6. Mon, Jan. 29           Descartes                  

                                                Required Reading: Meditation III & IV

                                                            Ariew and Watkins  pp.  34-45

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 139-153


7. Wed, Jan. 31           Descartes      

                                                Required Reading:  Meditation V & VI

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 45-55

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 116-139

 

8. Fri, Feb. 2               Princess Elizabeth

                                                Required Reading: Atherton pp. 9-21

 

 

 

9. Mon, Feb. 5            Spinozistic Responses to Descartes

                                                Required Reading:  Obj. 2 and Spinoza

                                                            Ariew and Watkins  pp. 56-62; pp. 81-87

                                                Recommended Reading:  Copleston IV, pp. 205-214

 

10. Wed, Feb. 7           Hobbesian Response to Descartes

                                                Required Reading: Obj. 3 & Hobbes

                                                            Ariew and Watkins  pp. 63-70; pp. 100-114

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp.  1-31

 

11. Fri, Feb. 9             Arnaudian Response to Descartes

                                                Required Reading:  Obj. 4 and Pascal

                                                            Ariew and Watkins  pp. 70-80; pp. 94-96

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 153-174

 

 

 

12. Mon, Feb. 12        Margaret Cavendish

                                                Required Reading: Atherton pp. 22-45

 

13. Wed, Feb. 14         Anne Conway

                                                Required Reading: Atherton pp. 46-77

 

14. Fri, Feb. 16           17th C. Ethics

                                                Required Reading:  Barzun pp. 236-305

 

 

 

15. Mon, Feb. 19        Spinoza

                                                Required Reading:  from Ethics                                                                                                           Ariew and Watkins pp. 129-156

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 214-230

 

16. Wed, Feb. 21         Leibniz

                                                Required Reading: Discourse on Metaphysics

                                                            Ariew and Watkins  pp. 184-207

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 320-333


17. Fri, Feb. 23           Leibniz

                                                Required Reading: Monadology

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 235-243

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston IV, pp. 295-320

 

 

18. Mon, Feb. 26        Leibniz

                                                Required Reading: Newton and selections from Leibniz’                                                       Letters to Clarke

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 244-258

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 143-171

 

19. Wed, Feb. 28         Cudworth

                                                Required Reading:  Atherton pp. 77-95

 

20. Fri, Mar. 2 Midterm Exam

                                                Required Reading:  Barzun pp. 305-331

 

 

BREAK********BREAK********BREAK********BREAK********BREAK

 

 

21. Mon, Mar. 12       Mary Astell

                                                Required Reading:  Atherton pp. 96-125

 

22. Wed, Mar. 14        Locke

                                                Required Reading:  Essay  Bk 1: 1-2; Bk 2: 1-14, 21-23, 27

                                                            Ariew and Watkins, pp. 270-329

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 67-108

 

23. Fri, Mar. 16          Locke

                                                Required Reading:  Essay  Bk 3: 3-6, Bk 4: 1-4, 10-11, 15-16

                                                            Ariew and Watkins, pp. 329-373

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 108-123

 

 

 

24. Mon, Mar. 19       Locke

                                                Required Reading:  Handout from Two Treatises

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 123-143

 

25. Wed, Mar. 21        Cockburn

                                                Required Reading:  Atherton pp. 126-146

 

26. Fri, Mar. 23          Voltaire

                                                Required Reading: Barzun pp. 332-392 and Voltaire                                                                                     Selections (Handout)

                                                Recommended Reading:  Copleston VI, pp. 1-59


27. Mon, Mar. 26       Berkeley

                                                Required Reading:  from A Treatise

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 462-477

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 213-258

 

28. Wed, Mar. 28        Shephard

                                                Required Reading:  Atherton pp. 147-159

 

29. Fri, Mar. 30          Hume

                                                Required Reading:  Inquiry §§ 1, 2, 4-7

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 491-522

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 258-293

 

 

 

30. Mon, Apr. 2         Hume

                                                Required Reading:  Inquiry  §§ 7-9

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 514-534

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 293-318

 

31. Wed, Apr. 4          Hume

                                                Required Reading:   Inquiry  §§ 10-12

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 534-557

 

32. Fri., Apr. 6            Hume 

                                                Required Reading:   from the Treatise on Human Nature                                                      (Handout)

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston V, pp. 318-342

 

 

 

33.  Mon, Apr. 8        Rousseau

                                                Required Reading: Discourse on Science and the Arts                                                                                    (Handout)

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI, pp. 59-80

 

34.  Wed, Apr. 11       Rousseau

                                                Required Reading: Discourse on the Origins of Inequality                                                     (Handout)

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI, pp. 80-101

 

35.  Fri, Apr. 13          Adam Smith and the British Enlightenment

                                                Required Reading:  Barzun pp. 393-462

 

 

 


36. Mon, Apr. 16       Kant

                                                Required Reading:  Prolegomena Preface and Preamble

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 579-590

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI, pp. 180-211

 

Wed, Apr. 18              Spring Day (No Class)

 

37. Fri, Apr. 20           Kant

                                                Required Reading: Prolegomena Trans. Prob Pts. I & II

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 590-612

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI, pp. 211-276

 

 

 

38. Mon, Apr. 23       Kant                          

                                                Required Reading: Prolegomena Trans. Prob. Pt.  III-End

                                                            Ariew and Watkins pp. 612-633

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI pp. 277-308

 

39. Wed, Apr. 25        Kant

                                                Required Reading:  Groundwork pt. 1 (Handout)

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI, pp. 308-349

 

40. Fri, Apr. 27           Kant

                                                Required Reading: Groundwork pt. 2 (Handout)

                                                Recommended Reading: Copleston VI, pp. 308-349

 

 

 

41. Mon, Apr. 30       Woolstonecraft, Paine, Burke

                                                Required Reading: Handout

 

 

42. Wed, May 2                      Conclusions, and Evaluations


 

Presentations dates

Descartes:

6. Mon, Jan. 29                                                                      

7. Wed. Jan. 31                                                                      

Spinoza

15. Mon, Feb. 19                                                                   

Leibniz

16. Wed. Feb 21                                                                     

17. Fri. Feb. 23                                                                      

18. Mon. Feb 26                                                                    

Locke

22. Wed, Mar. 14                                                                   

23. Fri. Mar. 16                                                                     

24. Mon. Mar. 21                                                                  

Berkeley

27. Mon, Mar. 26                                                                  

Hume

29. Fri. Mar 30                                                                      

30. Mon, Apr. 2                                                                    

31. Wed. Apr. 4                                                                     

32. Wed. Apr. 6                                                                     

Kant

36. Mon, Apr. 16                                                                  

37. Wed. Apr. 18                                                                   

38. Fri. Apr 20                                                                       

39. Mon  Apr. 23                                                                  

40. Wed. Apr. 25