Phil 4A03 Home

Thanks for being in the course! I enjoyed it.

Grads: Link to Phil 6A03 web pages here

I have returned your graded papers by email, but forgot to attach the handout  Righting Writing (which includes the let for interpreting the notations I made (A8 in particular!)). It is now included on this site. The Grading Scheme is also here.

Here is a handout on referencing.

Revised complete version of the book Leibniz, including acknowledgements to you!,  is now available on Avenue.

 CLASSES: WEDNESDAY 2:30-5:20, BSB 104                                           OFFICE HOURS: W 11:00-12:30 

INSTRUCTOR: Richard T. W. Arthur  rarthur at mcmaster dot ca        OFFICE: UH 305; ext. 23470.

About the Course

From his enthusiastic immersion in the philosophy of Hobbes in his 20s, through his dialogue with Locke’s Essay in his maturity, to his controversy with Newton and Clarke in his last years, Leibniz was always earnestly engaged with English philosophers. Since he was one of Hobbes’s most sympathetic readers and at the same time one of the profoundest critics of Locke’s empiricism and of Newton’s metaphysics, a study of his engagement with them is a great way of getting into the profound issues these thinkers discussed. After acquainting ourselves with Hobbes’s first philosophy and Leibniz’s main ideas, we will turn to a detailed study of the views on language, knowledge, the mind-body relation, free will and determinism, substance and the nature of space and time contained in these exchanges, comparing Leibniz’s views with those of Locke, Newton and Clarke.

Pre-reqs: 2C06 or (2X03 + 2XX3) + reg ³ level 3

Course Objectives

  • To provide an opportunity for students to examine at greater depth the profound views of some important thinkers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and to lead them to an appreciation of the profundity of some of their thought
  • To encourage and enhance critical reflection about some of the issues of central concern to these seminal thinkers
  • To heighten students’ awareness of the level of specificity required for a successful tackling of deep philosophical issues and for articulating historical influences
  • To enable the development of skills in gathering, presenting, and critically evaluating current literature on these issues
  • This course allows students with an interest in early modern philosophy to take their studies to a new and more profound level. It links closely with issues they will have encountered in their introductory courses, as well as other upper level courses like Theory of Knowledge (3O03) and Metaphysics (4H03).


© Richard T. W. Arthur 2013