To acquire an understanding of the central themes in the medieval philosophy and be able to appreciate individual thinkers contribution to those themes. To gain knowledge of the basic philosophical terminology in its historical contexts and developments. To be able to analyse and critically evaluate philosophical concepts and arguments. This course introduces the students to the major figures and the core issues of medieval philosophical thought, on the key issues of soul-body, universals, substance, and free will.
Early Modern philosophy
The course is about the historical beginnings of contemporary philosophical problems in the Early Modern period, which is thought to include roughly the philosophy done in 18th and 19th century, from René Descartes to David Hume. During the period, many important innovations of philosophy took shape, such as seeing the world as a machine, ruled by simple mechanical laws, the division of the mind and the body as essentially different entities and a doctrine of virtue as a conflict between reason and passions. One can add that Kant’s famous distinction between rationalism (emphasizing innate ideas and epistemological priority of reason) and empiricism (emphasizing experience) is related to Early Modern philosophy. The most important metaphysical and epistemological doctrines are discussed in the course, as well as Early Modern views on moral psychology, philosophy of mind, natural philosophy and argumentation.
The course will alternate between having a focus on medieval philosophy and modern philosophy (to be derscribed below, respectively). Resources allowing, both periods will be taught every year.
Examinarium exams are replaced from 16 March with alternative arrangements until 31 May 2020 until further notice. Register for Examinarium in WebOodi and contact the teacher about the books / check the course page for further instructions. (NOTE: do not register in Examinarium or reserve the room for the exam.)
- J. Marenbon, Medieval Philosophy: an historical and philosophical introduction. London-New York: Routledge, 2007.
- N. Kretzmann et al (eds.), The Cambridge History of Later Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982.
- Anthologies G. Klima with F. Allhof and A.J Vaidya (eds.), Medieval Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary (Blackwell Readings in the History of Philosophy 2). Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
- R. Mckeon, Selections from Medieval Philosophers. II: Roger Bacon to William of Ockham. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1930.
- P.V. Spade, Five Texts on Mediaeval Problem of Universals. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1994.
- R. Pasnau, The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical texts. III: Mind and Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Recommended reading for Early Modern Philosophy:
- Anthony Kenny: The Rise of Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Richard Francks: Modern Philosophy. The Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Routledge, 2003.
- Markku Roinila: Varhaismoderni filosofia. Logos-ensyklopedia, 2017. https://filosofia.fi/node/7303
Final written essay. Scale 0–5.
Participation in at least 75% of the sessions is required. Students are expected to read (at least) some of the primary sources, always given in English translation, that are to be discussed in the classes. Final written essay.