Edward N. Zalta, Philosophy Department
Offices: Cordura 226 (CSLI) and 92B (Philosophy)
Phone: 723-0345 (Cordura), 723-2133 (92B)
Electronic Mail: zalta@csli
Mailboxes: Ventura Hall and 91L
Michael O'Rourke (orourke@csli), 92A, 723-1157, Hours:
Corey Washington (corey@csli), 380L, 725-0108, Hours:
Lectures: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1:15 P.M., 60-61H
One optional discussion section per week (led by a TA)
One previous course in Philosophy
This course is required for the philosophy major, and it is designed to introduce you to the most important texts of modern philosophy. The lectures are designed to give you some perspective on each work as a whole as well as provide a careful analysis of the more significant passages. You are encouraged to spend your time reading and thinking about the original texts (the primary sources), rather than researching the secondary sources. Sometimes, however, you may want to pursue a line of thought that is puzzling or of special interest to you. At the end of the syllabus, you will find a list of commentaries and other secondary sources on reserve that may be of some help.
There will be an optional discussion section for you to explore ideas that fascinate you in more depth. Though the exams will not presuppose that you have attended the discussion section, the familiarity with the texts that you acquire by attending these sections may prove useful on the exams. The exams will test how well you have assimilated the lectures and reading assignments. Unfortunately, because of the large enrollment, everyone will have to write on the same topic for the short papers. There may be some exceptions to this in the case of Descartes (more about this in class). At the end of the syllabus, you will find a short statement about grading policies. Be sure to read this carefully.
NOTE: The following course schedule is tentative and subject to change. Such changes, if any, will be announced in class. Each date is followed by a lecture topic and the material that should be read for that class day.
Secondary Sources on Reserve in Tanner Library
1. B. Williams, Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry
2. A. Kenny, Descartes: A Study of His Philosophy
3. W. Doney, Descartes: A Collection of Critical Essays
4. H. Frankfurt, Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen
1. C. D. Broad, Leibniz: An Introduction
2. H. Frankfurt, Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays
1. S. Hampshire, Spinoza
2. M. Grene, Spinoza: A Collection of Critical Essays
3. J. Bennett, A Study of Spinoza's ETHICS
1. J. L. Mackie, Problems From Locke
2. I. Tipton (ed.), Locke on Human Understanding
3. J. Bennett, Locke, Berkeley, Hume: Central Themes
4. C.B. Martin and D. M. Armstrong, Locke and Berkeley: A Collection of
1. G. J. Warnock, Berkeley
2. G. Pitcher, Berkeley
3. G. W. Engle and G. Taylor, Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge:
1. B. Stroud, Hume
2. V.C. Chappell, Hume: A Collection of Critical Essays
3. J. Bennett, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume: Central Themes
1. R. Scruton, Kant
2. S. Körner, Kant
1. No late papers will be accepted, nor incompletes given, unless special permission is obtained from the professor in advance. Permission to turn in a late paper comes at the price of a grade penalty, unless there is a genuine emergency or the circumstances are exceptional in some other way.
2. Reevaluations: Students may request a reevaluation of a paper if they feel that it has been incorrectly graded. The work must be resubmitted to the professor within one week of the date the paper was graded and returned.
3. Participation in class and/or steady improvement will be considered in determining your final grade, especially in borderline cases.