Philosophy 170

Fall 2014

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
170 Descartes Crockett MWF 3-4 220 Wheeler

This course will provide an intensive introduction to Descartes’s views on physics, metaphysics and epistemology. We will begin by examining some of Descartes’s early works on method, physics and physiology. We will then turn to an in-depth study of the Meditations, focusing on both Descartes’s epistemological project and his anti-scholastic metaphysics. We will supplement our study of the Meditations with readings from the Objections and Replies, the Principles, and several important pieces of secondary literature. Some of the issues we will discuss in this section include the method of doubt, the Cartesian circle, Descartes’s mode of presentation in the Meditations, the creation and ontological status of the eternal truths, the status of the human being, the nature of substance, and the real distinction between mind and body. After our study of the Meditations, we will examine Descartes’s physics as presented in the Principles.

Previously taught: FL13, FL11, SP09, SP08, SP06, FL04.