Philosophy 187-1

Spring 2013

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
187-1 Special Topics in the History of Philosophy: Leibniz on Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding Crockett MWF 12-1 129 Barrows

In his New Essays on Human Understanding, the rationalist philosopher Gottfried Leibniz offers a point by point critique of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Locke’s Essay contains extensive discussion of the “origin, certainty and extent of human knowledge,” which he uses to address problems in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion. In this course we will examine Leibniz’s New Essays with the central goal of understanding the key points of difference between Leibniz’s rationalist epistemological and metaphysical views and Locke’s empiricist philosophical views.
While our central text will be Leibniz’s New Essays, we will supplement this with readings from Locke’s Essay, as well as other readings from Leibniz’s philosophical writings.