History of Modern Philosophy

Philosophy 004 – History of Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Hegel
Summer Session II, 2011

Lectures: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 12-1:35pm; Williams Hall 201

Instructor: Reed Winegar
Instructor Email: winegar@sas.upenn.edu
Office Hours: 401 Claudia Cohen Hall, Thursdays 2:00-4:00 or by appointment; extra office hours will be held prior to paper due dates

Course Description: This course covers major philosophical themes in the writings of thinkers from the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. Philosophical topics include aesthetics, causation and free will, the human mind, natural teleology and the emergence of modern science, morality and religion, skepticism and the possibility of philosophical knowledge. The course will examine such issues with special attention to naturalist and anti-naturalist tendencies in authors from the period. The course focuses primarily on Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, and Hegel, but we will also read selections from Berkeley, Hutcheson, and Spinoza.

Course Readings: Most Course Readings are Available at the Penn Book Center. Some of the shorter selections will be available on Blackboard.

The Following Course Readings are Available at the Penn Book Center (130 S. 34th Street)

• Descartes, René. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Vol. II, translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
• Guyer, Paul. Kant. New York: Routledge, 2006. (Recommended Reading)
• Hatfield, Gary. Descartes and the Meditations. New York: Routledge, 2003. (Recommended Reading)
• Hume, David. An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, edited by Tom L. Beauchamp. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
• Hutcheson, Francis. An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue in Two Treatises, revised edition, edited by Wolfgang Leidhold. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2008.
• Kant, Immanuel. Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics with Selections from the Critique of Pure Reason, revised edition, edited by Gary Hatfield. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
• Locke, John. An Essay concerning Human Understanding, edited by Peter H. Nidditch. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Short Selections from the Following Works will be Available on Blackboard

• Berkeley, George. A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, edited by Jonathan Dancy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
• Hegel, G. W. F. The Difference between Fichte’s and Schelling’s System of Philosophy, edited by H.S. Harris and Walter Cerf. Albany: SUNY Press, 1977.
• Hegel, G. W. F. The Phenomenology of Spirit, translated by A. V. Miller. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1977.
• Hume, David. Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary, revised edition, edited by Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1987.
• Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, edited by Allen W. Wood and Paul Guyer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
• Spinoza, Benedict de. The Ethics and Other Works, edited by Edwin Curley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.

General Course Expectations: Students are expected to attend all classes, to be prompt, and to have completed all readings prior to class. In cases of absence due to illness, the instructor reserves the right to request a doctor’s note. Comments and questions in class are highly encouraged; we are all interested in hearing everyone’s ideas! All students are expected to abide by the University of Pennsylvania’s code of academic integrity (for full details see http://www.upenn.edu/academicintegrity/).

Assignments and Grading: There will be four required written assignments.

First Paper (3 pages) – 10% of Final Grade
Second Paper (6 pages) – 25% of Final Grade
Third Paper (8 pages) – 30% of Final Grade
Take-Home Final – 35% of Final Grade

All written assignments will be “blind graded.” Late papers will lose one third of a letter grade for each 24 hours that the paper is late (if a paper is late due to serious medical illness, the instructor reserves the right to request a doctor’s note). Class participation can raise or lower one’s final grade by up to a third of a letter of grade (e.g. B+ raised to A- for excellent class participation).

Further Details regarding assignments and grading:
• The instructor will not discuss any graded assignment during the first 24 hours after the paper is returned. After 24 hours have passed, the instructor will be more than happy to meet during office hours to discuss any graded assignment.
• If you believe that an assignment deserved a different grade than that provided by the instructor, then you may submit a two-page, typed, double-spaced paper explaining why a different grade was merited. This explanation must explicitly respond to the initial feedback and comments provided by the instructor. Such explanations must be submitted within 72 hours after receiving the graded paper. There is absolutely no guarantee that the instructor will alter any grade.
• Any request for an extension must be made prior to the paper due date (except in rare cases, e.g. a true medical emergency).

Course Schedule

Week 1

July 5: Introduction: Naturalism and Anti-Naturalism

July 6: Cartesian Skepticism
Required Reading: Descartes’ Meditations pp. 9-23 (Synopsis of the Following Six Meditations, First Meditation, and Second Meditation)
Recommended Reading: Hatfield pp. 71-140

July 7: Descartes on the existence of God
Required Reading: Descartes’ Meditations pp. 24-36 (Third Meditation)
Recommended Reading: Hatfield pp. 141-81
Assignments: Topics for First Paper Handed Out

Week 2

July 11: Descartes on Freedom and Necessity
Required Reading: Descartes’ Meditations pp. 37-49 (Fourth Meditation and Fifth Meditation)
Recommended Reading: Hatfield pp. 183-235
Assignments: First Paper Due at Beginning of Class

July 12: Descartes and Spinoza on the Natural World
Required Reading: Descartes’ Meditations pp. 50-62 (Sixth Meditation) and Spinoza’s Ethics pp. 109-15 (Appendix to Book I) [Available on Blackboard]
Recommended Reading: Hatfield pp. 237-80

July 13: Locke and the Way of Ideas
Required Reading: Locke’s Essay pp. 104-32 and pp. 163-6 (Book II: Chs. i-vii and Book II: Ch. xii)

July 14: Locke on Primary and Secondary Qualities and Berkeley’s Criticisms
Required Reading: Locke’s Essay pp. 132-43 (Book II: Chs. viii) and Berkeley’s Principles pp. 105-8 (§§9-15) [Available on Blackboard]

Week 3

July 18: Locke on Causal Powers and Freedom
Required Reading: Locke’s Essay pp. 233-87 (Book II: Ch. xxi)
Assignments: Topics for Second Paper Handed Out

July 19: Hume and the Way of Ideas
Required Reading: Hume’s Enquiry 87-107 (Parts 1-3)

July 20: Primary and Secondary Qualities Revisited: Hutcheson and Hume on Aesthetic
Properties
Required Reading: Hume’s “Of the Standard of Taste” pp. 226-49 [Available on Blackboard] and Hutcheson’s Inquiry pp. 19-35 (Treatise 1, Sections I-II)

July 21: Hume on Causation
Required Reading: Hume’s Enquiry pp. 108-130 (Parts 4-5)

Week 4

July 25: Hume on Causation Continued
Required Reading: Hume’s Enquiry pp. 134-47 (Part 7)
Assignments: Second Paper Due at Beginning of Class; Third Paper Topics Handed Out

July 26: Hume on Freedom and Action
Required Reading: Hume’s Enquiry pp.148-68 (Parts 8-9)

July 27: Hume on God and Morality
Required Reading: Hume’s Enquiry pp. 187-98 (Part 11) and Hutcheson’s Inquiry pp. 46-61 (Treatise 1, Section V)

July 28: Hume on Naturalism and Skepticism
Required Reading: Hume’s Enquiry pp. 199-211 (Part 12)

Week 5

August 1: Kant’s Theory of Cognition: An Overview
Required Reading: Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 5-31 (Preface and §§3-5)
Recommended Reading: Guyer pp. 45-51 and Selections from the Critique of Pure Reason in Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 139-55
Assignments: Third Paper Topics Due at Beginning of Class; Take-Home Final Handed Out

August 2: Kant on Mathematics and Transcendental Idealism
Required Reading: Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 32-45 (§§6-13) and Selections from the Critique of Pure Reason in Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 156-60
Recommended Reading: Guyer pp. 51-70

August 3: Kant on Pure Natural Science
Required Reading: Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 46-58 (§§14-24) and Selections from the Critique of Pure Reason in Kant’s Prolegomena pp.161-77
Recommended Reading: Guyer pp. 70-95

August 4: Kant on Pure Natural Science Continued
Required Reading: Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 58-78 (§§25-39) and Selections from the Critique of Pure Reason in Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 177-91.
Recommended Reading: Guyer pp. 95-116

Week 6

August 8: Kant’s Criticism of Metaphysics and Defense of Freedom
Required Reading: Kant’s Prolegomena pp. 79-85 and pp. 90-99 (§§40-45 and §§50-54); Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason pp. 484-89 (Third Antinomy) [Available on Blackboard]
Recommended Reading: Guyer pp. 126-34 and pp. 138-44

August 9: Hegel on Nature, Freedom, and the Absolute
Required Reading: Hegel’s Difference Essay pp. 89-98 and pp. 103-109 (The Need of Philosophy, Reflection as Instrument of Philosophizing, Principle of a Philosophy in the Form of an Absolute Basic Proposition) [Available on Blackboard]

August 10: Hegel on Norms and Nature
Required Reading: Hegel’s Phenomenology 111-19 (The Master-Slave Dialectic) [Available on Blackboard]

August 11: Conclusion and Wrap-Up

August 12: Take-Home Final Due in my Departmental Mailbox by 3pm