History of Modern

History of Modern Philosophy is a third-year course for undergraduates which focuses on the History of Western European Philosophy between the years 1600 - 1800, the period following the end of late Scholasticism and the rise of the scientific revolution known as "The Enlightenment". The emphasis in the course is on those issues in Epistemology which were central in the time period, including the problem of Skepticism, accounts of Perception, Rationalism and Empiricism and the nature of a priori knowledge, and transcendental idealism. Significant attention is also given to issues in Metaphysics. Only limited attention is given to Ethics and Political Philosophy, which are topics covered by other courses offered at ASU. The primary figures discussed each semester are Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, but depending on the semester attention may be also given to Hobbes, Leibniz, Conway, Cavendish, or Reid. Students should be prepared for significant essay exams in addition to regular quizzes. Non-majors are welcome in the class, and no prior background in philosophy is required, although all students should have at least sophomore-level standing and be prepared for significant reading assignments of primary sources.


"It was nice to see how, where, and why philosophy went the way it did after each significant philosopher. Also, I liked seeing the correlation between the different philosophers at the time." (Spring 2014 Student)

"I liked the opportunity that we had to evaluate the material given to us throughout the course." (Spring 2015 Student)

"The class always felt like a safe environment to share ideas." (Spring 2015 Student)

If you're interested in taking this course, you can learn about Studying Philosophy at ASU or Search for Classes