Spinoza

  Philosophy 202
Great Traditions of Western Thought
The Modern Period

 Course Requirements

1. I expect you to come to class regularly and to be prepared to participate in discussions. I will generally hand out a set of questions that you should be prepared to discuss during the following class period. (10% of your final grade)

2. There will be three (3) papers of 5-7 pages each. You are to put your papers in the drop box on ella by 5 p.m. on the day they are due unless you have made prior arrangemtns with me. (Prior arrangments must be concluded by 5 p.m. on the day before the paper is due.) You must save the file for your paper on st save the file for your paper on YOUR computer as YOURLASTNAME.PAPER#X.doc
Then download the file onto your ellas drop box. Failure to follow directions will be penalized.


Required Texts (Available at the Odyssey Bookshop)

Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy (Hackett)
The Empiricists (Doubleday)
Spinoza,The Ethics (Hackett)
Leibniz, Discourse on Metaphysics (Hackett)
Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, abridged edition (Hackett)

Women Philosophers of the 17th and 18th Centuries (Women), ed. Margaret Atherton (Hackett)

I would like to say something about the readings. One central aim of this course is to enable you to become skilled in reading philosophic texts. I believe that this goal is best fulfilled by having you concentrate on the primary texts that we shall be discussing, even though all of them are quite difficult. Consulting a secondary source about which you know very little is a dangerous business. I urge you to limit yourself to the primary texts rather than trying to find a secondary text that will help you understand what the philosophers are arguing. This will ultimately aid your development as an independent thinker.  Also, be wary of using materials from the web without checking them.

 Writing a Philosophy Paper: In your paper, you need to take a position on the subject of our debate. Be sure to state what your position is in the first paragraph. The balance of your paper should be a defense of the position that you have taken. That means that you should not include material that is not relevant to your defense of your position. The defense should have two parts: first, provide the reasons you have for the position that you are defending; then, consider possible objections to your position and defend it against those objections. If you follow this form, you will have a good paper.

 Phil 202 Home Page | Description | Syllabus | Requirements | Discussion Questions
 Office Hours |  Links | Debate Format | Class Web Board | Debate Web Boards