Early Modern Philosophy

Subject PHIL40017 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2014:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour seminar each week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment:

An average of 10 hours each week.


Admission to fourth year Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in the discipline of Philosophy



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Ruth Boeker


Dr Ruth Boeker
Email: ruth.boeker@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on one of the great systematic works of 17th and 18th century European philosophy, such as Spinoza's Ethics, Leibniz's New Essays on Human Understanding, Hume's Treatise of Human Nature, or Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Our approach will be both philosophical and interpretive: our chief aim will be to understand the philosophical motivations the thinker had, and to assess them. We will use comparisons to contemporary philosophy whenever helpful. All the major areas of philosophy will be involved to some degree.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will develop:

  • a thorough understanding of one of the systematic philosophies of the early modern period
  • a more general appreciation of alternative approaches to philosophical problems -the skills of close reading and charitable interpretation.

A 5000-word research essay 100% (due at the end of semester).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

All texts will be available online, a list of acceptable published versions will also be made available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: http://philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Philosophy

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