Rutgers University, Spring 2017             K.L. Ross, kross@friesian.com
Philosophy 308, Early Modern Philosophy,    Office: 106 Somerset St., Room 547
Hume, Kant, and the 18th Century            Office Hour:  Friday, 11:30-12:30
MF 9:50-11:10 AM, AB 2150                   http://www.friesian.com/rutgers/

                     SYLLABUS

           SIRS course survey, until 11:59 PM, Thursday, May 4
              -- Student Instructional Rating Survey --

TEXTS:  The Portable Enlightenment Reader, edited by Isaac Kramnick,
           Penguin Books, 1995; all pages cited below from this book

CONTENTS:  This course is intended as a survey of modern Western
           philosophy in the 18th century, with emphasis on Hume,
           Kant, and the Enlightenment

        1. Background: 18th Century History; 17th Century Philosophy & Science
             Before Galileo
             The Duke of Marlborough
        2. Space and Time: Newton, Leibniz, & Kant
             Newton at the Mint
             Parmenides of Elea and the Way of Truth
             Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716)
             The Clarke-Leibniz Debate
             Some Metaphysics of Angular Momentum and Gravity
        3. Geometry: Euclid, Saccheri, & Kant
             Euclid's Axioms and Postulates
             Three Points in Kant's Theory of Space and Time
             Kant's Transcendental Idealism
        4. Cosmology, Astronomy
             Note on Kant's Astronomy
             A Summary of Modern Cosmology
        5. *Quiz I
        7. The Enlightenment: History, Politics
             Machiavelli's View of Government
             Decadence, Rome and Romania, and the Emperors Who Weren't
             The Fiction and Tyranny of "Administrative Law"
             The State of Nature and Other Political Thought Experiments
             "Federalist No. 10," Madison, 459
             The French Revolution
        9.  Spring Break
        10. The Enlightenment: History, Politics
              John Locke (1632-1704)
              "A Letter Concerning Toleration," Locke, p.81
              "The Second Treatise of Civil Government," Locke, p.395
              Positive and Negative Liberty
              Thomas Jefferson
              Rights, Responsibilities, and Communitarianism
              "Discourse on the Origin of Inequality," Rousseau, p.424
        10. The Enlightenment: Economics, Politics
              Smith's Law
              "Justly Discredited," Trade, Moneylending, & Capital
              Cargo Cult Economics
              Positive, Negative and Zero Sum Games
              "The Wealth of Nations," Smith, p.505
              "The Fable of the Bees," Mandeville, p.242
        11. *Midterm Exam, Due April 4th
        11. The Enlightenment: History, Religion
              "What Is Enlightenment?" Kant, p.1
              "On Enthusiasm," Shaftesbury, p.90
        11. The Enlightenment, Politics 
              "Vindication of the Rights of Women," Wollstonecraft, p.618
              Racism
              "Negroes... Naturally Inferior to the Whites," Hume, p.629
              "African Slavery in America," Paine, p.645
        11. The Enlightenment: Geology, Chemistry
              The Pulse of the Earth, Orogenies & Transgressions
              The Chemical Elements
        12. First Philosophy: Logic, Empiricism & Rationalism
              The Arch of Aristotelian Logic
        12. Hume: Epistemology
              Hume Shifts the Burden of Proof
              The Pyrrhonist & Academic Skeptics
        12. Hume: Ethics, Politics, Miracles
              Key Distinctions for Value Theories, and the Importance of Hume
              "Of Miracles and the Origin of Religon," Hume, p.109
              On Miracles
        13. *Quiz II, April 21
        13. Kant: Epistemology
              Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
              Analytic and Synthetic: Kant and the Problem of First Principles
              Intuition and Mysticism in Kantian Philosophy
        14. Kant: Metaphysics
              Kant's Transcendental Idealism
        15. Kant: Ethics & Religion
              Kant's Psychological Types
              Kant's Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
              The Crooked Timber of Humanity
              Kant and Schopenhauer on Music
              Kant and Fries on Faith
              God After Kant
              Kant on Judaism
        15. Summary & Reflections
        17. *Final Exam, Wednesday, May 10, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

NOTE:  The tentative schedule above, week by week, is subject to expansion
and/or contraction, depending on decisions about the material to be used and
on the nature and pace of in-class discussion.  Classes this semester run
from January 17th, 2017, to May 1st, so that the last meeting of this class
is on April 28th.  Finals run from May 4th to May 10th.  Final exams will
be administered according to university policy.  During the Spring Semester,
pending announcements to the contrary, Final exams will be administered
during the assigned exam period, according to the University’s Exam Schedule.



OVERVIEW:  Philosophy in the 18th century included significant developments
in epistemology, metaphysics, and science, as well as in moral and political
thought.  The political thought of the age, embedded in the broad movement
of the "Enlightenment," contributed to the significant historical events of
the American and French Revolutions.  It was widely perceived that
philosophers, particularly the intellectuals popularly called philosophes,
had contributed to these events.  However, the period also saw the endgame
in the purely philosophical dispute between the largely British "Empiricists"
and the mainly Continental "Rationalists," culminating in Immanuel Kant, who
tried to reconcile the approaches.

As previously taught, the focus of this course seems to have mainly been
on the social, political, and religious developments during the Enlightenment.
See the previous "Overview" statement.  The textbook for that class,
which some students may have bought, Evil in Modern Thought, An Alternative
History of Philosophy, by Susan Neiman [Princeton, 2002], reflects
such emphasis.  Indeed, the book is entirely taken up the story and the
heritage of the Enlightenment assault on religion, theology, and theodicy.
This is a significant issue in the heritage of the Enlightenment, but is also
only a fragment of concerns at the time, and of developments that affected
the future, both inside and outside philosophy.  In the history of philosophy,
few philosophers are as important as Hume and Kant, yet their political
influence, for instance, was only peripheral -- if we can even say that much,
especially when Hume's sympathies were with the monarchist Tories, despite his
atheism.  On the other hand, even while he was relatively complacent about
religion, the political influence of Jean Jacques Rousseau was powerful; yet
the tyranny and massacre of the Reign of Terror were themselves properly
perceived as due to his influence.

Note that the text now assigned for this class, The Portable Enlightenment
Reader, also provides us little on the more technical philosophical issues.
The many links above to on-line treatments should make up the difference.



POLICIES:  While this is basically a lecture course, students should feel no
reluctance to interrupt the lecture with questions or observations, as long as
they are relevent to the material or, at least, to the course or philosophy.
Dedicated discussion periods are not scheduled because they may or may not be
called for or desired at particular points, and the pleasure of philosophy
classes is often through digressions that develop spontaneously and perhaps
wander a bit from the topic.  Individual classes are all different in terms
of those involved, and different classes on the same topic may develop very
different dynamics.

Attendance is expected.  Students experiencing some difficulties, who may not
find satisfaction from the classroom presentation or discussion, should consult
with me during my office hour on Fridays, 11:30-12:30.  Students also sometimes
form study groups for the class, and this can be helpful.  Note that the last
day to withdraw from the class without a "W" grade is January 24th; and the
last day to drop with "W" is March 20th.

The material at this or that point in the syllabus may seem to some relatively
or overly simple, and it may not seem necessary to attend this or that class.
However, material is often presented in the lectures that is not otherwise
available, and what is missed usually cannot simply be recovered from
Wikipedia.  Philosophers disagree, Wikipedia can be biased, incomplete, or
incorrect, and while no one is required to agree with anything in this
class, everyone is required to at least know what it is.  Outside
materials or opinions are welcome so long as they are not a substitute for
awareness or discussion of the materials of the course.

It is university policy that students are expected to attend all of their
classes.  Unavoidable absences should be reported with the university’s on-line
"Self-Reporting Absence Application," with the date and reason for the absence.
This will also be reported to me.  This self-reporting mechanism is governed by
the University Code of Student Conduct.  Anyone not already familiar with this
essential policy, please consult it soon.

It is the responsibilty of students of obtain notes from others for classes
that they may have missed.  Since notes sometimes are confused, points may be
clarified during office hours.  Exams that are missed, reported as described
above, whether in-class or take-home, can be made up before the the tests are
graded and returned.  Since with quizzes this will usually be by the next
class meeting, anyone missing a quiz should be present prepared to take it
promptly at that time.  Anyone coming in late will have missed their chance.

Please also refraining from doing other course work or unrelated activities
during class.  Conversation and other byplay is appropriate only if "talking
amongst yourselves" means preparing to ask a question or contribute to a
discussion.  It is now common for college students to take notes on laptop
computers or similar devices.  While this is acceptable in this class, cell
phones or other devices, used for other purposes, are not allowed, and
anyone using their laptop for e-mail or video games may be asked to stow
the device or leave the class.

I have previously allowed students to tape record lectures.  However, Rutgers
University has policies against this, unless both instructor and all students
involved give their written permission to be recorded.  In practical terms
this precludes the regular recording of lectures.  Violating policy may
subject students to University discipline, under the University’s "Code of
Student Conduct."

Please adhere thoroughly to all course policies, here and as may be included
in in-class or electronic communication, and to university policies,
including the university’s Policy on Academic Integrity.  The Policy defines
plagiarism as the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s
own in any academic work. Intentionally committing plagiarism is a serious
offense with severe consequences. Instructors are required to report students
who intentionally violate this policy to the Department Chair and to the
Office of Student Judicial Affairs.

The most common forms of plagiarism are:  Quoting directly or paraphrasing
without acknowledging the source (this includes copying or paraphrasing
material from a web site without providing a proper citation for the site).
Presenting the work of another as one’s own.  Submitting purchased materials
such as term papers.  Note that cutting and pasting material from Wikipedia
or elsewhere does not conceal its origin from a Google search.

Anyone in doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism, and thus what to avoid,
please consult the above link, and in particular the links there to
“Student Resources” and “Multimedia Resources.”  The Policy establishes
levels of violations and recommends sanctions. Depending upon the severity
of the case and the level of the violation, the sanctions for these violations
include:  a failing grade for the assignment, failure in the course, mandatory
participation in a series of non-credit academic integrity workshops, academic
probation, and/or suspension.



TESTS:  The course grade will be determined by a Final, worth half the grade, a
Midterm, worth a quarter, and two Quizzes, each worth an eighth.  The dates
of the quizzes and midterm will be announced well in advance, and the midterm
may be a take-home test.  Close grades, or inconsistent grades, may be adjusted
in light of factors such as class participation and attendance.  The quizzes
are intended mainly to test factual material in the course, while the other
tests will be essays on general comprehension of the material.

Point values are assigned to grades as follows:  F=0, D=3, C=6, B=9, A=12.
Minuses subtract one point, and pluses add one.  A C+ is thus worth 7.
The midterm grade is worth 1/4 of the course grade, the quizzes 1/8 each,
and the final 1/2.  The course grade is therefore calculated in this way:
{[2x(Midterm) + (Quiz I + Quiz II) + 4x(Final)]/8}.  Missed tests or
quizzes will count as F's unless made up.  For the purpose of the
following rule, the grades of the two quizzes will be combined.  That
grade or the midterm grade (or an F for a missed midterm) will be dropped
if the grade is improved by the substitution of the grade of the
final with the penalty of one letter grade (subtracting 3 points).
For instance, an A+ (13) on the final means that a midterm grade, or a combined
quiz grade, lower than a B+ (10) is replaced with a B+.  If the course grade is
as much as 10 (B+), without rounding, an A will be awarded.  If a 7 (C+),
a B; a 4 (D+), a C; and a 1 (F+), a D.



All written work not completed and submitted in class, will be submitted
on-line, under the “Assignments” link in Sakai, and in the process will be
filtered through Turnitin.com, resulting in an “Originality Report,” with
a percentage-based “Similarity Index,” relative to internet sources,
publications, and student papers from Rutgers and across the country.  Any
Turnitin Originality Report indicating significant suspicion of plagiarism
will be forwarded automatically, without warning or prior discussion, to the
University, from whom the authors will hear subsequently, and with whom they
will have to deal ultimately, with the possible outcomes as noted.

For anyone wanting or needing assistance in their writing, there is a
Writing Center available.

All written work done outside of class to be submitted electronically must be
appropriately formatted, using Microsoft’s Word, Rich Text Format (.rtf),
ASCII text format (.txt), or even HTML (.htm or .html).  These are the only
computer formats that I have at my disposal.  The files you submit must have
a .doc, .rtf, .txt, .htm or .html suffix.  They are missing one of these
suffixes, or has some other one, then I will be unable to review your work
and submit a grade for it.

Please be sure in addition that the file bears only your last name and your
first name, in this order and connected by a hyphen.  Examples of files
prepared properly include the following:  edwards-robert.doc, jones-robert.rtf,
or roberts-edward.txt.  If you submit files improperly formatted, you risk my
not being able to review them, and seeing your overall grade suffer as a
result.

Assignment and course grades will be posted to our Sakai “Gradebook” as
available.  Course grades will be posted ultimately to the university’s
“Rosters and Electronic Grading Information System” (REGIS).



STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES:  Rutgers abides by the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments
(ADAA) of 2008, and Sections 504 and 508 in particular, which mandate
reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with
disabilities and the accessibility of online information. If you have a
disability and may require some type of instructional and/or examination
accommodation, please reach out to me as soon as possible, so that I can
provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. To this
effect, if you have not already done so, please register with the Office
of Disability Services, the designated office on campus to provide services
and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities.



Information in this syllabus may be updated or amended by electronic or
in-class announcements.  Before class, please review carefully all
electronic announcements and bring to class any questions or concerns.

The Proceedings of the Friesian School

Los Angeles Valley College

Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D.

Enlightenment and its legacy: Overview - McCrossin

Of all that we know, it seems the most useful, but least advanced is what we know of human nature. - Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality)

“The Enlightenment,” “Enlightenment values,” and various similar turns of phrase punctuate regularly our civil and political discourse. New York Times columnist Gary Wills, for example, writing in the aftermath of the 2004 presidential election, thought it important to remind us that we are “a product of Enlightenment values.” Wills’ more conservative colleague David Brooks, writing in the aftermath of 2008’s, thinks it important now to “figure[e] out whether we are children of the French or the British Enlightenment … [whether] our founding a radical departure or an act of preservation … a bone of contention between Jefferson and Hamilton, and … a bone of contention today ….” We are indeed “children of the Enlightenment,” but what this may mean exactly is likely more complicated still.

Trading on the J.G.A. Pocock’s useful idea that there is not one monolithic Enlightenment, but a “family of Enlightenments,” we will work together to develop a sense of their overlaps and influences, in an effort to understand better not just the “bone of contention” that Brooks is preoccupied with, but the various bones of contention that appear to divide, but may also ultimately unite us. In the process, we will engage with a variety of key historical turning points - including the Peace of Westaphalia and the Glorious, American, and French Revolutions - and a variety of ideas and writings-including those of Bayle, Bentham, Diderot, Hutcheson, Hume, Kant, Leibniz, Pope, Reid, Rousseau, Sade, Smith, Turgot, and Voltaire - as we engage not only with the problem of scepticism, the conventional emphasis in a setting such this, but the problems of the self and of evil, arguably at least as central, if not more central to the course of the Enlightenment, as well as the intellectual inquiries we now know as aesthetics and economics.

Return to Text