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History of Modern Philosophy (PH201-30)

Timing & CATS

This module runs in the Autumn and Spring Term and is worth 30 CATS

Module Description

The first part of this module, taught in the autumn term, covers the metaphysical and epistemological thought of three of the great Empiricist philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries – John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume. In this part of the module will look at the views of these philosophers on substance, qualities, ideas, causation and perception.

The second part of this module, taught in the spring term is devoted to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The following topics will be covered: Metaphysics, Space, the Categories, Objectivity, Self-Awareness, Substance, Causation, Scepticism, Freedom.

Learning Outcomes or Aims

By the end of the module students should be able to: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the key ideas and arguments in the texts and topics covered in the module. 2. Critically engage with the main arguments of the texts, and articulate their own views of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these arguments. 3. Demonstrate sensitivity to some of the main differing interpretations of the key ideas and arguments presented in the texts.

Contact Time

In this module students must attend 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of seminars per week

Lectures for 2017-18 (Term 1)
  • Friday 10am to 12pm in L5

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Lectures for 2017-18 (Term 2)
  • Monday 4pm to 6pm in L4

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Seminars for 2016-17

Seminars start in week 2 of each term and run for the rest of that term

There will be no seminars in reading week (week 6)

Sign up for a seminar group using Tabula.

Assessment Methods

This module will be assessed in the following way:

  • Two 1,500-word essays (worth 15% of the module)
  • 3 hour exam (worth 85% of the module)

Essays should be submitted to Tabula in line with the essay deadlines schedule.

Background Reading and Textbooks

Term 1

Main Works:

John Locke, Essay Concerning Human Understanding

George Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge. And Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous.

David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature

Term 2

Main Reading:
I. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
Background Reading:
P. F. Strawson, The Bounds of Sense
G. Dicker, Kant's Thoery of Knowledge
J. van Cleve, Problems from Kant

Course Materials

From October 2016 course materials will be available on Moodle. Simply sign in and select the module from your Moodle home page.

Module Convenors

Term 1

Dr Barney Walker


Term 2

Professor Quassim Cassam

q dot Cassam at warwick dot ac dot uk