nl en

Newton as Philosopher



In this class, we will investigate philosophical themes within Newton and his context. We will pay some attention to how Newton’s empirical findings connect to his philosophical views, and how these shaped subsequent discourse.

This class will be devoted to conceiving, writing, revising, critiquing, and presenting philosophical essays. Because the class is so small, class participation will be very much encouraged, including class presentations.

Teaching method


Admission requirements


Course objectives

Course objectives will be made available on Blackboard at the start of the course.

Required reading

  • Isaac Newton, Opticks, Dover. ISBN10 0486602052; ISBN13 9780486602059

  • Isaac Newton, Philosophical Writings, edited by Andrew Janiak, Cambridge University Press. ISBN10 0521538483; ISBN13 9780521538480.

  • The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence, edited by Alexander, St. Martin’s Press, ISBN10 0719006694; ISBN13 9780719006692.

  • Descartes, Principles of Philosophy,, ISBN10 1421989077; ISBN13 9781421989075

Test method

Students will write two short papers and a final research paper. Class participation is 25% of grade, the first two papers 20%, and the final paper 35%.

Time table

See: Timetable MA Philosophy


Dr. E.S. Schliesser ( )


Please register for this course on U-twist. See registration procedure




Specialisation: Theoretical Philosophy / History of Philosophy