History of Modern Philosophy as an Issues-Based Introductory Course

Teaching Philosophy 13 (3):253-263 (1990)
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My paper describes a method of teaching history of modern philosophy in a way which is accessible to students with no background in philosophy. The main innovation of the course is that the readings are organized around three themes: (1) theory of knowledge; (2) philosophy of religion; (3) the free will problem. This provides continuity between the readings, a feature often missing in historical courses. Moreover, seeing how different philosophical methods--rationalism (Descartes), empiricism (Hume), pragmatism (James), and twentieth century analytic philosophy (Russell)--approach the same issues deepens students' understanding of these methods



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