Epperson - CSUS - Philosophy 002 - Philosophical Ethics
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Center for Philosophy and the Natural Sciences




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the course:

In this course we will examine the ways in which the scientific and political innovations of 16th, 17th, and 18th century Europe both influenced and were influenced by the rationalist and empiricist philosophical traditions that competed and flourished during this period. We will study the works of several philosophers working within these two traditions as they struggled to make sense of the scientific and social revolutions sweeping through their world; and we will see how their work would, in turn, help shape these revolutions, even as they continue to evolve today. One focus of the course, then, will be to examine the ways in which these philosophical traditions have maintained their relevance and influence in our own millennium as 21st century science struggles with its most difficult questions yet.

Our survey will entail a careful reading and critique of the metaphysical and epistemological schemes developed by key philosophers of the early modern period, beginning with the work of Bacon, Galileo, and Descartes and concluding with Kant and his revolutionary synthesis of the rationalist and empiricist worldviews.

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