History of Philosophy

To study History of Philosophy is not to rehearse a chronological list of philosophical facts and conclusions; it is to actively engage with the thought processes of some of the greatest minds that ever lived. These great minds ranged over all the fields of philosophy – metaphysics, epistemology, logic, moral philosophy, social and political philosophy, and aesthetics. For the most part their ideas are not ‘dated’, but remain alive in contemporary philosophical discourse, as providing the foundations of and parameters within which contemporary problems of philosophy are discussed and debated. Yes, we build on, and take off from, the ideas of past philosophers, and hopefully arrive at new and ‘progressive’ philosophical insights, but we do so only through the activity of understanding their original positions and their reasons for holding them. To study History of Philosophy is to do philosophy.

Some of the great minds with which you will engage are:

Parmenides, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St Augustine, Aquinas, Hobbes, Cavendish, Descartes, Leibniz, Conway, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Shepard, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx, Russell, de Beauvoir, Wittgenstein, Arendt, and numerous prominent recent and contemporary philosophers.

Fall 2015 History Courses:

PHILOS 101 – Introduction to Philosophy (U, HU)

PHILOS 232 – Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy and the Sciences for Everyone (U, HU)

PHILOS 430 – History of Ancient Philosophy (U/G)

PHILOS 681 – Seminar in Advances Topics: Friedrich Nietzsche (U/G)