Start in week of 14 March 2022
The fee per course is € 285 including exam & resit. The yearly registration fee is € 40.
Towards the end of the sixteenth century, the Aristotelian conception of the sciences seemed to have passed its expiry date. Many novatores in philosophy were inspired to develop methodological innovations in order to find new ways of coming to know more about nature, yet it was only in the work of René Descartes (1596-1650) that the “new philosophy” developed into a real alternative for the complete body of Aristotelian thought. Descartes’ mechanistic view of nature would prove fruitful in the field of natural philosophy and would inspired him to formulate a new metaphysical conception of man. In the hands of Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677), Descartes’ mechanistic approach came to affect questions of ethics and politics as well, leading to drastic changes in the interpretation of human mental life and human freedom.
Besides discussing Descartes and Spinoza, this course will sketch the broader historical context in which their work emerged, by focussing on humanist alternatives in ethics and politics, such as that of Hugo Grotius (1583-1645); alternative mechanistic philosophies, such as those of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679); alternative metaphysics, such as those of Platonists and Occasionalists; and alternative methodologies, such as those of Isaac Newton (1643 - 1727) and Blaise Pascal (1623-1662).
No prior knowledge is necessary.
English; lectures will be recorded.
Bachelor 2, block 3B; 14 March until 15 April 2022
Courseguide & literature
Please consult the course guide for the precise timetable and literature of this course. Here available from November 2021.