PHIL 480 Modern Philosophy

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					    PHIL 480
Modern Philosophy
Wars of religion and intolerance
Scientific revolution
Newton as enlightenment figure
               • Analytic method
               • Nature governed by
                 regular laws
               • Mechanism and
John Locke (1632-1704)
           • Empiricism
           • Religious and political
           • Liberalism
           • Individualism (social
David Hume (1711-76)
          •   Empiricism
          •   Skepticism
          •   Limits of knowledge
          •   Critique of metaphysics
          •   Redefining knowledge
              and reasonable belief
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
             • Attempt to reconcile
               knowledge (necessary
               and a priori) with
               natural scientific
               knowledge (contingent
               and a posteriori)
             • An epistemic
               ‘Copernican revolution’
John Locke (1632-1704)
           • Anglican
           • Father fought with
             Cromwell &
             parliamentarians in
             English Civil War (1642-
             51) against King Charles I
             & monarchists
           • Chas. I beheaded (1649)
           • More power for
             parliament; less for
             monarch (Chas. II);
             constitutional monarchy
• 1675   Trip to France – associated with Gassendi &
         critics of Cartesianism
• 1679   Return to England; Lord Shaftesbury vs
         Charles II
• 1681   Shaftesbury tried for treason (acquitted)
• 1683   Locke & Shafte. flee to Holland; Chas. II
         revokes L’s position at Oxford
• 1685   Chas. II dies (deathbed conversion to
         Catholicism); brother James II (Catholic)
         takes throne; Edict of Nantes revoked (no
         protection for protestants in France);
         Monmouth’s failed rebellion; Locke denounced
         as traitor
• 1688   Glorious Revolution: William and Mary of
         Orange assume throne (Dutch protestants)
• 1689   Locke returns to England; An Essay Concerning
         Human Understanding published
           Locke’s philosophy
• Empiricist
• Reason final arbiter of faith and ‘revealed
• Skeptical attitude – don’t assume you know
  more than your evidence and arguments will
  establish  caution, anti-dogmatism
• “For where is the man, that has incontestable
  evidence of the truth of all that he holds, or of
  the falsehood of all he condemns; or can say
  that he has examined, to the bottom, all his
  own, or other men’s opinions?” (Essay IV, xvi, 4)
         The New Way of Ideas
• Epistemology – knowledge of world mediated
  (indirectly known) through ideas

• Analytical, naturalistic, empirical,
  psychologistic (reliant upon introspection)
David Hume (1711-76)
          •   Empiricism
          •   Skepticism
          •   Limits of knowledge
          •   Critique of metaphysics
          •   Redefining knowledge
              and reasonable belief
•   5 years old when Locke died
•   Hume died year of the American war of Independence
•   Educated at Edinburgh University
•   Moved to La Fleche University in France to study more
•   1746-47 nearly served as secretary to Lieutenant-General
    James St Clair on a military expedition against Quebec
•   1756 librarian at Edinburgh & scandal over ‘indecent’ books
•   Assistant to English ambassador in Paris (1763-66); hung out
    with Rousseau and other philosophes
•   1767-68 Undersecretary of State, London
•   Retired comfortably back to Edinburgh till death (wealthy
    from sales of his History of England)
• Treatise of Human Nature (1739)
  – Fell ‘dead-born from the press’
• Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
• Natural History of Religion (1757)
• History of England 6 vols. (1756-61)
• Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779)