Philosophy 25B (Summer 2009)

Philosophy 25B: Modern Philosophy
Summer 2009

MTuWTh 2:00-4:00pm
156 Dwinelle

Instructor: John Schwenkler
Office Hours: Thursdays from 10am-12pm, in Moses 301

GSI: Jeremy Carey
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm-2pm, in Moses 301

Course description:

An examination of central issues in early modern philosophy by way of texts by René Descartes, John Locke, Julien Offray de La Mettrie, George Berkeley, David Hume, Thomas Reid, and Immanuel Kant. Topics covered will include: skepticism and knowledge; matter and the soul; perception, thought, and personal identity; the nature of moral judgment; metaphysics; and the philosophy of science. Of particular interest will be the rise of philosophical naturalism, and the question of how the modern scientific understanding of nature impacts philosophers’ treatments of the above subjects.

Course requirements:

Students will be expected to come to class with the day’s readings in hand, ready to discuss the material in depth. Attendance at section is required. Overall, your final grade will be calculated as follows:

Plagiarism and academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in any form. In your papers, cite all written sources you have relied on in any way and explicitly acknowledge any other help you have received, and if you have any question as to whether a given action might be viewed as dishonest, speak with the instructor or GSI. For more on plagiarism and the proper methods for citing your sources, please visit

Required texts:

Preliminary schedule of readings:

Week 1:

Week 2:

Week 3:

Week 4:

Week 5:

Week 6:

Updated on 2009-08-11 16:52:49 -0700 by John Schwenkler