This course is an introduction to Western philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This period (or some part of it) is sometimes called The Enlightenment or The Age of Reason, but philosophers usually just call it the early modern period, as it marks the beginning of modern philosophy. We will take a selective look at this period through the work of five philosophers: Descartes, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.  In addition to being an introduction to the early modern period, the course is also an introduction to philosophy. Our readings and discussions will be organized around four of philosophy's most important questions:

  1. Does God exist?
  2. Can we know anything?
  3. Do we have free will?
  4. Is morality objective?

As we discuss these questions, the basic skills and values of philosophy will take center stage. These include: thinking and writing clearly; critically examining views, not simply accepting them on faith or because they sound deep; and thinking creatively and rigorously about difficult, abstract problems.

Counts towards the Philosophy major and minor requirement to take two courses in the history of philosophy from among PHI 105, PHI 106, and PHI 107.
Satisfies the Philosophical and Religious Perspectives requirement.
Counts as a Western Europe area course in the International Studies Interdisciplinary Minor.


Class Details
Course PHI 106
Section 0
CRN 20334
Time M W F
Time 1200 - 1250pm
Instructor Kevin Busch
Max 30
Current 0
Remaining 30
Semester Spring 2022