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Humanities and Creative Arts
This course introduces you to the philosophy of the early modern period. We shall pay particular attention to the epistemological and metaphysical questions addressed by Descartes in his Meditations and by Hume in Book 1 of his A Treatise of Human Nature. We also study Hume’s moral theory in Bk. III of the Treatise, Locke’s epistemology and Berkeley’s metaphysics. Topics covered include rationalism and empiricism, dreaming, scepticism, proofs of the existence of God, mind-body dualism, idealism, the nature of self, personal identity, causation, reason and the passions. Is knowledge based on reason or experience? Can I be sure that I’m not dreaming? Can I be sure of anything? What, in any case, is this ‘I’? What is the relationship between mind and body? What is it to remain the same person over time? Does the external world exist and, if so, what is its nature? Can ‘ought’ be derived from ‘is’? Is morality based on reason or the passions?
45 points in PHIL, at least 30 at 200 level.