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    Vassar College
   
 
  Oct 23, 2017
 
 
    
Catalogue 2017-2018
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PHIL 102 - History of Western Philosophy: Modern

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
102b: Descartes inaugurated modern philosophy by turning philosophical attention away from questions about what the world is like and directing it onto the question: how is it possible for us to know what the world is like? He made this question urgent by offering arguments that suggest that we cannot know what the world is like – arguments suggesting that there is an unbridgeable gap between the mind and the material world. We carefully examine the ways in which Descartes himself, Hume, and, finally, Kant, seek to answer these arguments and bridge the gap that Descartes’ arguments open up. We see how their various approaches to this task shape and are shaped by their conceptions of the human mind, the material world, the relation of the mind to the human body, and the nature of the ‘self.’ Jeffrey Seidman.

Prerequisite(s): PHIL 101  is not a prerequisite for the course.

Two 75-minute periods.



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