Syllabus for PHIL 661.600 (Modern Philosophy Seminar)
17th Century Treatments of Substance: Descartes to Locke
Fall 2010; Dr. Stephen H. Daniel
Tuesday and Thursday 2:20-3:35; Bolton 208
"The consideration of substance," Leibniz remarks, "is of the greatest importance and fruitfulness for philosophy"; and he claims that failure to understand the nature of substance is the cause of Descartes' errors and Spinoza's paradoxes. Admittedly, Descartes' distinction between thinking and extended substance, Spinoza's identification of substance with God, Malebranche's and Bayle's occasionalist account of finite substances, Leibniz's doctrine of the trans-temporal identity of substances, and Locke's notion of substance as the "we know not what" support of qualities, all are central puzzles in early modern philosophy. The purpose of the seminar is explore these puzzles and their effect on discussions of God, individuation, freedom, and causation.
Instructor: Dr. Stephen H. Daniel
Office hours (Bolton 302-B): Tuesday & Thursday 11:00-2:00
Phone: 979-845-5619 (office), 979-846-4649 (home)
Course website: http://philosophy.tamu.edu/%7Esdaniel/661sy10c.html
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