History of Philosophy II

Phil A212, section 601 - Fall 2000

William Jamison

THEME: An introduction to the great thinkers of the 17th century scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, German Idealism, contemporary positivism and existentialism; a comparative examination of the cosmological, ethical, political and scientific ideas which shaped each of these periods.

Student Outcomes

Students completing this course should be able to identify, comprehend, analyze, and evaluate complex philosophical arguments in oral and written discourse. They should also be able to understand, analayze, interpret, and apply major works in the areas of the History of Philosophy, Ethics, and contemporary topics.


Richard Popkin, editor, The Philosophy of the 16th and 17th Centuries (Free Press)

            Lewis White Beck, editor, 18th-Century Philosophy (Free Press)

Patrick Gardiner, editor, Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (Free Press)


Course grades are based on:

 Exams - 50% - nine essays showing an understanding of the materials covered in class and the assigned readings in response to questions, each with a minimum of 300 words,

 25% of the grade will be based on a term project. 

 Response to quiz questions posed in each lecture -25%. 

CLASS: Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 02:30P – 03:45P Room ESB 206

OFFICE: See Current Schedule. UAA Room K 219.

Phone: 694-1023 (home), Philosophy Department Secretary 786-4455. The best way to get a message to me is via e-mail. Please feel free to call my home phone. My web page is located at and my e-mail address is wsjamison@UAA.ALASKA.EDU. All tests are take-home essays that can be turned in using e-mail, IBM floppy disk or typed on paper. This syllabus on my web site has links to other sources for many of the texts for the philosophers we will discuss. Some of the links include wonderful web pages on the various philosophers.



August 29: Topics covered: Introduction to the course, description of course requirements, purpose of doing philosophy, course readings as an “all you can eat buffet,” what the tests and quizzes will be like. 

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy overview.


August 31: Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, selections, in Popkin, pp. 46-68 Lecture 1 notes.


September 5: Labor Day Holiday (no classes)


September 7: Descartes, "Meditations on First Philosophy", in Popkin, pp. 121-187 Lecture 2 notes.


September 12: Hobbes, "Leviathan", in Popkin, pp. 188-217 Lecture 3 notes.


September 14: Descartes and Hobbes, Rationalism versus Empiricism  Lecture 4 notes.           

            First take-home exam given.


September 19: Spinoza, "Ethics", in Popkin, pp. 231-278 Lecture 5 notes.

            First exam due.


September 21: Spinoza and Pantheism


September 26: Leibniz, "Theodicy", in Popkin, pp. 333-339 Lecture 6 notes.


September 28: Locke, "Essays Concerning Human Understanding", in Beck, pp. 23-61 Lecture 7 notes.


October 3: Berkeley, "Principles of Human Knowledge", in Beck, pp. 63-90


October 5: Hume, "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", pp. 93-131

            Second exam given.


October 10: Introduction to Kant Second exam due


October 12: Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason", in Beck, pp. 242-302


October 17: Introduction to Hegel


October 19: Hegel, "Master and Servant", in Gardiner, pp. 43-51


October 24: Schopenhauer, "The Will as Thing in Itself", pp. 91-103


October 26: Feurbach, "The Essence of Religion", in Gardiner, pp. 239-250


October 31: Marx, "Critique of Hegel", "Alienated Labor", "Theses on Feuerbach", in Gardiner, pp. 261 –288


November 2: Kierkegaard, pp. 289 – 320


November 7: Introduction to Nietzsche


November 9: Nietzsche, "Prejudices of Philosophers", "Master-Morality-Slave Morality", "Bad Conscience", "Reason in Philosophy", in Gardiner, pp. 332-363


November 14: Sartre, "What is Existentialism?"


November 16: American Philosophy - Charles S. Peirce, William James


November 21: John Dewey


November 23: Thanksgiving Break (No Classes)


November 28: Ludwig Wittgenstein


November 30: Bertrand Russell, "The Philosophy of Logical Analysis"


December 5: Willard Van Orman Quine, Richard Rorty


December 7: Alasdair MacIntyre, John Rawls and Final given out.


December 14: (Note: class meets at 2:30P). Final Date - Final due. Summary of course, term paper due and end course discussions.


Tests:  Three take home tests will be given with the requirement of answering a choice of three out of six essay questions.  They must be typed and can be e-mailed, on disk, or printed.

Paper:  A Term Paper is due prior to the last class meeting.  The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate an understanding of the basic ideas of a philosopher studied in the course that is selected by the student. It should be approximately 3,000 words long.  It also can be e-mailed, on IBM disk, or printed.

Quizzes:  Unannounced quizzes will be based on the readings.

N.B. If you want your last test mailed to you include an addressed and stamped envelope (2 stamps are usually necessary).


This syllabus may be adjusted at any time to meet the class or instructor’s requirements upon one week’s notice to students. 


This page is maintained by William S. Jamison. It was last updated August 14, 2012. All links on these pages are either to open source or public domain materials or they are marked with the appropriate copyright information. I frequently check the links I have made to other web sites but each source is responsible for their own content.