Modern Philosophy

Students in this course will be placed amidst one of the great intellectual battles in history: the Rationalists vs. The Empiricists. This battle, couched in modern philosophy which is typically thought of as spanning from the 17th to 19th centuries, has spawned philosophical icons such as René Descartes, John Locke and David Hume. These philosophers dealt with concepts such as the existence of God and the nature of religion, freedom and free will, the nature of reality, and the scope and limits of human understanding. Students will develop a critical understanding of these issues, will hone their analytic skills by learning to uncover and question their own assumptions about these timeless themes, and will perhaps help to resolve some of these classic debates. Students will be evaluated through a combination of short assignments, in-class debates, tests, and essays.