Spring 2021 Schedule

All dates given below are subject to change. An up-to-date calendar is always available here .

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Important Dates

Date Assignment
23 Feb Unit 1 Reading Response Questions Posted
8 Mar Unit 1 Self-Assessment Due
9 Mar Unit 2 Reading Response Questions Posted
12 Mar Unit 1 Reading Response Due
16 Mar Argument Analysis 1 Passages Posted
2 Apr Argument Analysis 1 Due
12 Apr Unit 2 Self-Assessment Due
13 Apr Unit 3 Reading Response Questions Posted
16 Apr Unit 2 Reading Response Due
29 Apr Argument Analysis 2 Passages Posted
3 May Unit 3 Self-Assessment Due
4 May Unit 4 Reading Response Questions Posted
7 May Unit 3 Reading Response Due
19 May Argument Analysis 2 Due
31 May Unit 4 Self-Assessment Due
4 Jun Unit 4 Reading Response Due

Schedule of Topics & Readings

Topics and readings subject to change.
Date Topic & Assigned Materials
16, 19 Feb Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy
Francis Bacon, Selections from New Organon
Galileo Galilei, Selections from The Assayer
René Descartes, Discourse on the Method, Parts 1–2
Unit 1 Foundations: Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy
23, 25 Feb 1.1 Descartes on Skepticism, Certainty, & God
René Descartes, Meditations I–III
2, 4 Mar 1.2 Cartesian Dualism & Its Early Critics
René Descartes, Meditations V–VI
“The Cartesian Circle”: Selections from the Objections and Replies
Unit 2 Metaphysics After Descartes: the Mind-Body Problem
9, 11 Mar 2.1 Discovery of the Problem: Elisabeth of Bohemia & Malebranche
Elisabeth of Bohemia, Selections from Correspondence with Descartes
Nicolas Malebranche, Selections from The Search After Truth
Margaret Cavendish, Selections from Philosophical Letters
16, 18 Mar 2.2 Is Mind-Body Interaction a Miracle? Malebranch & Leibniz on Substance
G. W. Leibniz, New System
23, 25 Mar 2.3 “Whatever Is, Is in God”: Spinoza on Substance,Mind, and Body
Baruch Spinoza, Ethics Ip1–Ip15, Appendix; IIp1–IIp13
30 Mar, 1 Apr 2.4 Idealism: Berkeley’s Empiricist Critique of Matter
George Berkeley, Three Dialogues, Preface & First Dialogue
Mary Shepherd, Selections from Essays
6, 8 Apr No Class: Spring Break
Unit 3 Epistemology After Descartes: Rationalism & Empiricism
13, 15 Apr 3.1 Locke’s Critique of Innatism
John Locke, Essay I.i, I.ii.1–8, 15–16, 22
G. W. Leibniz, Preface to the New Essays
20, 22 Apr 3.2 Locke’s Empiricism
John Locke, Essay II.i.1–9, II.ii, II.viii.7–26, II.xii, II.xxiii.1–4
27, 29 Apr 3.3 Hume’s Skeptical Empiricism
David Hume, Enquiry Sects. II–V
Unit 4 Rationalism After Descartes: Kant’s Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics
4, 6 May 4.1 Kant’s Prolegomena I: How is Metaphysics Possible?
Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena Preface & Preamble
11 May Catch-Up and Review
13 May No Class: Ramazan Bayramı
18, 20 May 4.2 Kant’s Prolegomena II: How are Pure Mathematics & Natural Science Possible?
Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena Sects. 6–23, 27–38
25, 27 May 4.3 Can There Be a Science of Metaphysics?
Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena Sects. 40–44, Scholium: Solution to the General Question of the Prolegomena, “How is metaphysics possible as a science?”