PHILOS 2X03 Early Modern Philosophy I
Academic Year: Fall 2015
Instructor: Dr. Brigitte Sassen
Office: University Hall 306
Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23475
Office Hours: Tuesdays 12-1pm
- Course Objectives
- Textbooks, Materials & Fees
- Method of Assessment
- Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties
- Additional Policies and Statements
- Topics and Readings
- Other Course Information
In this course, we will study (some of) the philosophers of the 17th century. More specifically, we will study texts by three figures: René Descartes (1596 – 1650), Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677) and John Locke (1632 – 1704). Time permitting, other figures will be briefly considered as well.
By the end of the course, students should have
•developed familiarity with the major philosophical trends in this period
•developed the ability to read and interpret difficult philosophical texts
•developed facility in philosophical discussion
•developed facility in library research
The course meets three hours a week. Two hours are devoted to lectures (Tu 10:30 – 11:20, Th 09:30 – 10:20), one to a tutorial for which students should have registered during course registration.
Textbooks, Materials & Fees:
•Descartes, René. Meditations on First Philosophy. Broadview.
•Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Abridged and edited by Kenneth Winkler. Hackett.
• Spinoza, Baruch (Benedictus de), Ethics. Hackett.
•Material to be made available on the course web site
Method of Assessment:
Requirements include attendance and participation in tutorials (10%), a short initial assignment, due Sept. 27 (10%), two essays due Oct. 25 and Nov. 29, 3 – 5 pages each (25% each), a bibliography assignment due in tutorial in the week of November 9 (5%), and a final exam (25%). Except for the bibliography assignment, papers are to be submitted electronically via the dropbox on the course web site (Avenue to Learn) to the tutorial in which a given student is registered (in either word format, in .rtf, or .pdf). Note that the web site checks for plagiarism. Papers must be uploaded to avenue by 11:59 pm on Sept. 27, Oct. 25 and Nov. 29.
•1 assignment (1 – 2 pages) (10%)
•1 bibliography assignment (5%)
•2 papers (3 - 5 pages) (25% each)
•attendance and participation in tutorial
Late submissions will generally not be accepted unless there is a documented reason
Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.
Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
- Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
- Improper collaboration in group work.
- Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Email correspondence policy
It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
Modification of course outlines
The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)
In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.
Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail email@example.com. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.
Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.
Topics and Readings:
|Sept 8-10||Introductory Matters: Figures and Issues||No tutorials this week|
|Sept 15–Oct 10||Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy|
Sept 15 – 18
|Sceptical doubt and its solution (mind and body, take 1) Meditations I and II 41 - 52||No tutorials this week|
53 - 64
Assignment due Sept. 27
|Sept 29–Oct. 2||Error and response to initial doubts Meditations IV and V 65 – 77||Tutorial 2|
|Oct. 6 - 9
||Material Things, (mind and body take 2)
78 – 89
|Oct 12 – 18||Thanksgiving and mid semester break No classes|
|Oct 20 - 30||Spinoza, Ethics|
|Oct 20 - 23||Substance/God Ethics, part I 31 - 43||Tutorial 4 Paper 1 due Oct. 25|
|Oct 27 – 30||The human being
Ethics, part II
63 - 71
|Nov. 3 – Dec. 4||Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding|
|Nov. 3 - 6||
II.i.1-8,20,23-25; ii, viii.1-6, iii-vi; vii.1-2,7-10
|Nov. 10 - 13||
Primary and Secondary qualities
Essay II. xii; xiii.1-5; xxii.1-5,9; xxiii.1-11,15-20
Bibliography assignment due in tutorial this week
|Nov. 17 - 20||Power
|Nov. 24 - 27||
Abstract Ideas Essay III.iii.1-4,6-13,15-18
Knowledge Essay IV.i; ii.1-7,14; iii.1-14,17-18,21
Paper 2 due Nov. 29
|Dec 1 - 4||Existence
Essay IV.iv.1-12; ix.2-3; x.1-7; xi
Essay IV.xiv-xv; xvi.1,3-14
Other Course Information:
All e-mail communication is governed by the policy of the Faculty of Humanities. The Faculty specifies that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from the student's own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student. Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.
COURSE AND TUTORIAL EVALUATIONS WILL BE DONE NEAR THE END OF THE YEAR.
STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO KEEP A COPY OF ALL SUBMITTED WORK FOR THEIR OWN RECORDS.
THIS OUTLINE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE GIVEN SUFFICIENT NOTICE.
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.