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History of Modern Philosophy (met tutorial)


Admission requirements

Good comprehension of English (written and spoken).


An introductory course to some of the key figures, problems and themes in the philosophy of Enlightenment from Descartes to Kant. Thematic focus: the concept of Reason as articulated in the theories of knowledge and morality in the above thinkers, understood as responses to the problematic of modernity.

Course objectives

Course objectives will be posted on Blackboard by the start of the course.


See: Rooster BA Wijsbegeerte 2010-2011

Mode of instruction

Lectures (hoorcollege) with time left over for discussion (2 hours) and tutorial (2 hours)

Assessment method

  • Regular assignments (10%)

  • Mid-semester take-home (40%)

  • Final take-home (50%)


Weekly use for announcements, assignments, course documents (lecture notes, overheads etc.), exams and course information.

Reading list

  • Reader with excerpts from primary and secondary literature.

  • Descartes, R., Meditations on First Philosophy ed. Cottingham (CUP 1996. ISBN: 0 521 55818 2)

  • Spinoza, Ethics 7th ed., transl. Parkinson (OUP 2003. ISBN: 0 19 875214 8)


Please register for this course on uSis. See registration procedure

Contact information

Dr. H.W. Siemens


Admission to this course is restricted to first-year students in the BA in Philosophy (BA Plus-traject). These students also attend the corresponding tutorial.

Lectures will be in English, although Dutch can be used for exams and contributions in class.