Early Modern Philosophy
Rhedir gan School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
20 Credyd neu 10 Credyd ECTS
Trefnydd: Mr Dave Ellis
This module will cover the ‘early modern’ period of philosophy, spanning the 17th and 18th centuries. This period witnessed some of the most important revolutionary developments in philosophy, and an understanding of modern philosophy is central to understanding many topics within contemporary philosophy. Ideas about personal identity and the soul; freedom and ethics; God, good, and evil; knowledge and the limits of human understanding; politics and ethics… We will cover all the major thinkers of the modern period who have contributed to these topics and more. Particular focus will be on David Hume – a philosopher so radically ahead of his time that we are only now coming to fully appreciate his contribution to philosophy – and the contrast that Hume’s sceptical empiricism has with the continental rationalists, whose ideas would go on to shape postmodernity. Through this contrast, we can conclude by coming to see the contemporary ‘analytic/continental’ divide as a continuation of this well-worn debate.
The course begins with Descartes (traditionally thought to be the father of modern philosophy) and Francis Bacon (who, though less appreciated as a philosopher, can equally be seen as the father of modern philosophy, particularly for the empiricists). We track the development of those ideas into both ‘rationalism’ (Leibniz, Spinoza) and ‘empiricism’ (Locke, Berkeley), with particular emphasis on David Hume. We contrast Hume with Kant, and from there cover the contrast between Hegel and Schopenhauer. We conclude by indicating the progression from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, and on to postmodernity. With all this in view, we then take a view on the contemporary state of philosophy, in particular the supposed divide between ‘analytic’ and ‘continental’ philosophy.
(D- to D+) Work in this band will demonstrate a cursory knowledge of the thinkers and themes of the early modern period of philosophy, but might show a lack of understanding, and will not demonstrate an ability to analyse or evaluate the philosophy of the early modern period. Work in this band will fail to develop a successful argument relevant to the content of this course.
(A- to A*) Work in this band will demonstrate comprehensive and very detailed understanding of early modern philosophy, based on extensive background reading, and will demonstrate an outstanding ability to construct a logical and coherent argument relevant to the content of this course.
(C- to B+) Work in this band will demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of the early modern period of philosophy, and (for the higher grades) will be able to apply that knowledge and understanding to the construction of an argument relevant to the content of this course. This argument might show some minor misunderstandings, or might not be presented with impeccable structure, but will nonetheless demonstrate the student's knowledge and understanding of the subject area, and will show that they are capable of constructing a logical and coherent argument.
To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the major themes, thinkers, concepts, and arguments within the modern period of philosophy.
To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the philosophical context of modern philosophy, and the influence of the modern period on the progress of philosophy.
To analyse, research, and construct a sustained argument applicable to the content of this course, showing some degree of originality.
Strategaeth addysgu a dysgu
- Llythrennedd - Medrusrwydd mewn darllen ac ysgrifennu drwy amrywiaeth o gyfryngau
- Defnyddio cyfrifiaduron - Medrusrwydd wrth ddefnyddio ystod o feddalwedd cyfrifiadurol
- Hunanreolaeth - Gallu gweithio mewn ffordd effeithlon, prydlon a threfnus. Gallu edrych ar ganlyniadau tasgau a digwyddiadau, a barnu lefelau o ansawdd a phwysigrwydd
- Archwilio - Gallu ymchwilio ac ystyried dewisiadau eraill
- Adalw gwybodaeth - Gallu mynd at wahanol ac amrywiol ffynonellau gwybodaeth
- Sgiliau Rhyngbersonol - Gallu gofyn cwestiynau, gwrando'n astud ar atebion a'u harchwilio
- Dadansoddi Beirniadol & Datrys Problem - Gallu dadelfennu a dadansoddi problemau neu sefyllfaoedd cymhleth. Gallu canfod atebion i broblemau drwy ddadansoddiadau ac archwilio posibiliadau
- Cyflwyniad - Gallu cyflwyno gwybodaeth ac esboniadau yn glir i gynulleidfa. Trwy gyfryngau ysgrifenedig neu ar lafar yn glir a hyderus.
- Dadl - Gallu cyflwyno, trafod a chyfiawnhau barn neu lwybr gweithredu, naill ai gydag unigolyn neu mewn grwˆp ehangach
- Hunanymwybyddiaeth & Ystyried - Bod yn ymwybodol o'ch cryfderau, gwendidau, nodau ac amcanion eich hun. Gallu adolygu ,cloriannu a myfyrio'n rheolaidd ar eich perfformiad eich hun ac eraill.
Sgiliau pwnc penodol
- Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
- Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
- Sensitivity in interpretation of religious and philosophical texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
- Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
- The ability to use and criticise specialised religious and philosophical terminology.
- The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
- The ability to construct rationally persuasive arguments for or against specific religious and philosophical claims.
- The ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
- The ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods within the disciplines of philosophy and religion.
(1) Anthony Kenny, The Rise of Modern Philosophy (2) Roger Scruton, A Short History of Modern Philosophy (3) Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy: A Survey (4) Descartes’ Meditations (5) Spinoza’s Ethics
Cyrsiau sy’n cynnwys y modiwl hwn
Opsiynol mewn cyrsiau:
- V140: BA Modern & Contemporary History year 3 (BA/MCH)
- V130: BA Mediaeval and Early Modern His year 3 (BA/MEMH)
- VV56: BA Philosophy and Religion year 3 (BA/PHRE)
- 3VQV: BA Philosophy and Religion and English Literature year 3 (BA/PREN)
- VVR1: BA Philosophy and Religion and French year 4 (BA/PRF)
- VVR2: BA Philosophy and Religion and German year 4 (BA/PRG)
- VVV1: BA Philosophy and Religion and History year 3 (BA/PRH)
- VVR3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Italian year 4 (BA/PRI)
- VV57: BA Philosophy and Religion with International Experience year 3 (BA/PRIE)
- VVW3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Music year 3 (BA/PRM)
- VVR4: BA Philosophy and Religion and Spanish year 4 (BA/PRS)
- VVQ5: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh year 3 (BA/PRW)
- VVV2: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh History year 3 (BA/PRWH)
- VV12: BA Welsh History/History year 3 (BA/WHH)
- M1V5: LLB Law with Philosophy and Religion year 3 (LLB/LPR)