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History of Modern Philosophy

by University of New Orleans

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Course Description

A historical survey of Modern Philosophy from Montaigne and Descartes to Kant and the Utilitarians.  Traditionally a survey of philosophy from the beginning of the 17th century to the beginning of the 19th century, running from Descartes to Kant, this course is meant to familiarize students with the difference in perspectives between the Rationalist and Empiricist schools of thought during the "modern" period.  The scope of the present course is slightly broader, with emphasis placed on both the influence of humanistic art and the development of scientific methodology, and the subsequent differences between idealism and materialism, the splintering of philosophical thought into distinct disciplines - such as political science, economics, and evolutionary psychology.  Consequently, in addition to such figures as Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Hume, who are typically considered, we will also be discussing thinkers who are not always included as contributors to the philosophical enterprise - such as Francis Bacon, Adam Smith, Blaise Pascal, and Isaac Newton.  Along with the traditional list of issues, then, we will be looking at the contributions of these other thinkers in the fields of empirical science, political theory, and epistemology.
History of Modern Philosophy
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