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Seminar in 19th-Century Philosophy
PHIL 309
Spring 2019 not offered

The late 18th to early 19th century was one of the most exciting, revolutionary, and difficult periods in the history of philosophy. Among the prominent philosophers working in the period, Hume, Kant, Goethe, the post-Kantian German idealists, and Hegel have traditionally been grouped together under the label "idealists" in virtue of their rejection of objective, mind-independent sources of ideas, and emphasis on phenomenal experience as a source of knowledge. Rather than gain a superficial overview of the developments in this historical period, we will try to delve deeply into the philosophical conceptions of nature, naturalism, and natural philosophy that originated out of philosophical reflections on the empirical sciences and scientific method of the day. Topics will include Hume's skeptical doubts about causation and induction as providing a catalyst for Kant's thesis of subjective idealism in the PROLEGOMENA; Kant on the purposiveness of organic nature; late 18th- to early 19th-century empirical theories of life and nature, beginning with Enlightenment theories of matter, life, and generation in the age of Goethe (1749--1832); and application of Goethe's empirical and scientific method in his botanical writings and theory of metamorphosis of plants. Goethe's natural philosophy will provide the key background to examining how German idealists' romantic conception of life and nature peacefully coexist with materialist proposals. Our investigation of 19th-century natural philosophy will conclude with an examination of the concept of life and nature in Hegel's natural philosophy.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA PHIL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: [PHIL202 or COL360] OR [PHIL252 or COL252]
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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