17th and 18th Century Philosophy (PHIL 318)

Manchester University, Spring 2020    Instructor: Steve Naragon


Welcome to these online materials for the Spring 2020 course on 17th and 18th Century Philosophy (PHIL 318, Manchester University).

This course meets three times weekly for 50 minutes, and is devoted to reading and discussing selections from the writings of European philosophers from the late 16th through the 18th centuries (including Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant), with an emphasis on their epistemology and metaphysics.

Quite a bit happened during these centuries, not least of which were the births of modern science, of the modern state, and of the modern self. As might be expected, philosophers were on hand to serve as midwives to these birthings, and often they counted the progeny as their own.

The photos appearing on these pages are of various philosophers — some of whom we will read, and many of whom have deeply influenced the beliefs you are carrying around in your head. To learn their name, hold your cursor over the image. [Holbein’s painting of “The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb” — at the top of the page — has an interesting history; click on it to go to its Wikipedia article.]


Contacting Me

Click on my name (above) to reach my home page with contact information.

Please see my posted weekly schedule, which will tell you when I’m busy with class or committee work. Otherwise, I’m pretty much always either in my office (982-5041) or at home (982-6033), and am always happy to talk or meet with you. You can also send me an email.   [Questionaire]

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies    //   Last updated: 30 May 2020