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PHI1102 History of Western Philosophy: Home

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the figures and movements of the canonical periods in the history of Western Philosophy that have had a fundamental influence on Western Civilization. Periods to be covered include Ancient, Hellenistic and Medieval, and Modern philosophy.

Recommended Books

Aristotle: Selections

This book is a selection of the translation of Aristotle’s works. It seeks to provide an accurate and readable translation that will allow the reader to follow Aristotle's use of crucial technical terms and to grasp the details of his argument. This book features notes and glossary adjunct to the translation. The notes suggest alternative translations or more literal translations, and contain some very selective discussion of the course of Aristotle’s argument. The glossary indicates the correspondence between Greek terms and their English renderings, and it tries to explain some of Aristotle’s terms and to sketch some of the philosophical doctrines and assumptions that they convey.

Practical Philosophy

This is an English translation of all of Kant’s writings on moral and political philosophy, including “Review of Schulz’s Attempt at an introduction to a doctrine of morals for all human beings regardless of different religions”, “An answer to the question: What is Englightenment?” “On the wrongfulness of unauthorized publication of books”, “Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals”, “Review of Gottlieb Hufeland’s Essay on the principle of natural right”, “Kraus’s review of Ulrich’s Eleutheriology”, “Critique of practical reason”, “On the common saying: That may be correct in theory, but it is of no use in practice”, “Toward perpetual peace”, “The metaphysics of morals”, “On a supposed right to lie from philanthropy”, and “On turning out books”.

On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic

This is a book about the history of ethics and about interpretation. This book raises profoundly disquieting issues about the violence of both ethics and interpretation. It seeks to discredit what Nietzsche sees as the dominant moral values of his age, which in essence are the values of Judaeo-Christian ethics-justice, equality, compassion-as they have been inherited and secularized by the Enlightenment tradition. It also sets out to discredit the Victorian scientific critique of these values undertaken by Utilitarian philosophy, associationist psychology, Social Darwinism, and exclusively fact-based historical study. Nietzsche questions moral certainties by showing that religion and science have no claim to absolute truth.

The Hellenistic Philosophers

This work is a collection and discussion of the primary sources for Hellenistic philosophy. The schools being studied includes the early Pyrrhonism, Epicureanism, Stoicism, the academics, and the Pyrrhonist revival, which dominated philosophy in the three centuries after the death of Aristotle in 322 B.C. While Volume One collects English translations of the primary sources with philosophical commentary, Volume Two presents the same texts as are translated in Volume One in its original Greek and Latin texts, together with critical apparatus, information on their original contexts, supplementary commentary on technical matters and points of detail, and some additional texts.

The Philosophical Writings of Descartes

Volume I and Volume II provide a completely new translation of the philosophical works of Descartes, based on the best available Latin and French texts. The works collected include some early writings, Rules for the direction of the mind, The world, Treatise on man, Discourse on the method, Optics, Principles of philosophy, Comments on a certain broadsheet, Description of the human body, The passions of the soul, Meditations on first philosophy, Objections and replies, Letter to Father Dinet, The search for truth. Volume III contains 207 of Descartes' philosophical letters.

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