Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject will discuss the questions, problems, and issues that preoccupied philosophers in the 17th-and 18th-centuries. What is the nature of our world, and how do we know about it? Are there limits to what our senses can tell us about the world? What is the relation between mind and body? Is there an objective basis for moral and political obligation? This is a period with much interaction between science and philosophy, and whose core ideas influenced subsequent metaphysics and epistemology, as well as ethics and political philosophy. Students will grapple with the ideas of at least four of the following philosophers of the period--Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant--and can expect to read original texts those thinkers wrote, and exchanges between them and critics such as Princess Elizabeth and Mary Astell. In discussing these exchanges we will also raise questions about the historiography of this period of philosophy, including the maleness and whiteness of philosophy and science, and the relationships between dead philosophers and contemporary thinking.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorYuri Cath

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning Activities class discussion and class preparation; reading logs, essay writing.

Capstone subjectYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrescribed






Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Learn to read and interpret original philosophical texts
02. Grasp the argumentative dialectic between philosophers who disagree on fundamental issues
03. Understand the context in which philosophical ideas during the period arose and reflect on that context.

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Subject not currently offered - Subject options not available.