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PHILOS 4A03 Early Modern

Academic Year: Fall 2015

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Brigitte Sassen

Email: sassenb@mcmaster.ca

Office: University Hall 306

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23475

Website

Office Hours: Tuesdays 12 - 1pm



Course Objectives:

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
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


This is a course on 18th century Scottish philosophy, in particular, on David Hume (1711 – 76) and the efforts on the part of his contemporaries to come to terms with and defeat his sceptical reflections on such matters as our knowledge of the external world. Although many of Hume’s contemporaries took their cue from his first major work, A Treatise on Human Nature (1739-40), that work will remain in the background and we will read his mature text: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748). The appropriate selections from the Treatise are included in the weekly reading schedule. Among his contemporaries, the work by common sense philosopher Thomas Reid (1710 – 96) shall be considered in most detail. Here we will read his An Inquiry into the Human Mind: on the Principles of Common Sense (1764). We will also consider selected texts by other contemporaries involved in these debates (among them Henry Homes or Lord Kames (1696 – 1784), George Campbell (1719 – 1796), and James Beattie (1735 - 1803)). All of the texts are available on ECCO (Eighteenth century collection online) which can be accessed via the McMaster library and can be found by way of the document numbers included in the attached reading schedule (via document search)


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

TEXTS:
Hume, David
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, ed. Lorne Falkenstein. Broadview Press, 2011.
Reid, Thomas
An Inquiry into the Human Mind: On the Principles of Common Sense, ed. Derek Brookes. Penn State Press, 2000.
Selected texts
Eighteenth Century collection online (ECCO)


Method of Assessment:

Weekly summaries (up to 2 pages each) of one section of the assigned reading (each student chooses his or her own section).
--summaries must be submitted electronically (in Word) to the course web site by 6 pm on Tuesday prior to the Wednesday class during which the reading is discussed.
--a selection of assignments will be graded/week. By the end of the term, students should have 2 graded assignments and 8 ungraded ones.
--students in 6A03 are in addition responsible for the discussion the section they have chosen (the presenters will be notified by Tuesday evening). Two brief presentations/discussions in the course of the terms are required.
--ten summaries are required in the course of the term (no more than one per week)
20%
Term paper (12-15 pages) due at the end of term.
80%


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

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:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. 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 sas@mcmaster.ca. 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:

SCHEDULE OF CLASSES

Sept. 9    

    Introduction.

Sept. 16   

    Hume, Enquiry 1 – 3, Treatise 1.1.1-4 Document# CW3318260043

Sept. 23   

    Hume, Enquiry 4 – 5, Treatise 1.1.4.2 (CW3318260058), 1.3.2 (CW3318260166), 1.3.4-8 (CW3318260182), Abstract 1-16 (CW3318060777) and 35 (CW3318060803)

Sept. 30

    Hume Enquiry 6 – 7, Treatise 1.3.11-12 (CW3318260253)

October 7

    Hume Enquiry 8, Treatise 2.3.1-2 (CW3318260735); Abstract 31-34 (CW3318060800)

October 14

    Mid-semester break, no classes

October 21

    Hume, Enquiry 11
Hume, Enquiry 12, Home, Essays Part II, Essay III, 237 – 296. Document# CW3317481121

Oct. 28

    Reid Inquiry , Introduction

Nov. 4

    Reid, Inquiry, chapters 2 – 5, Kames, Henry Home, Lord. Essays on the principles of morality and natural religion. In two parts. Edinburgh, M.DCC.LI. Part II, Essay 1. Document# CW3317481105

Nov. 11

    Reid, Inquiry, chapter 6

Nov. 18

    Reid, Inquiry, conclusion; the Hume-Reid exchange. Hume Treatise 1.4.4; Hume Letter to Hugh Blair of 4 July 1762 (in Brookes 256 – 57). Reid’s abstract to the Inquiry (Brookes 257 – 262)

Nov. 25

    Kant Prolegomena and Critique, in Hume Enquiry 277 - 293

Dec. 2

    Concluding Discussion


Other Course Information:

*E-mail policy:
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.

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.