PHIL-2325EL – Reason and Experience in Early Modern Philosophy

In the 17th and 18th centuries, European thought was transformed by revolutions in scientific discovery and method, and by the withering of religious authority in the political and moral spheres. In response to this, philosophy began to rethink its own pivotal questions: What can be known? What is it to be human? What actions are morally justified? This course examines representative works of this period, emphasizing three distinct but related approaches to answering these questions: that knowledge is confined to what is given to us immediately in our perceptual experience or empiricism; that knowledge is concerned only with what conforms to the laws of reason or rationalism; and the claim, made by Immanuel Kant, that the two together make up what can be known and what must be done. (lec 3) cr 6

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