PHIL 201, Modern Philosophy

A study of the historical context of modern philosophy, beginning with the converging influences of Christianity and classical humanism upon the Renaissance and early modern conception of humans and the world, and ending with an exploration of the social and political consequences of the ideas of key modern and post-modern philosophers.

Upon completion of this course, the successful student will have reliably demonstrated the ability to:

   • Recognize valid and fallacious patterns of logical reasoning; synthesize philosophical arguments; understand the broad outline of the history of modern philosophy

   • Render a detailed and articulate account of the equilibrium between the two forces of Christianity and classical humanism

   • Outline and explain the long-term effect of the division of Christendom in the period from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

   • Understand the metaphysical and epistemological frameworks in which practical, revolutionary ideas were historically developed in modernity and postmodernity

Course Details:  What is modernity? The historical context of the Renaissance and early modern era; Renaissance humanism: Erasmus and More; Francis Bacon, Essays; Pascal and Jansenism; Locke on theory and practice; John Stuart Mill and utilitarianism; Mary Wollstonecraft; Rousseau, Kant, Hegel; Nietzsche on God and morality; Marx; Existentialism; What is Postmodernity?

Image: 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, by Gustav-Adolf Schultze (d. 1897) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons