Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy

Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy

Spring Semester
Dr. Itay Snir
Office Hours: by appointment


Short description:

This course deals with the modern philosophy of the 17th and 18th centuries. We will read texts by various modern philosophers – René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, David Hume and Immanuel Kant – and confront the central questions which arise in each of them.

Among the questions that will be discussed are: Is positive knowledge of reality possible? What is the source for knowledge – the senses, the mind or both? Can we prove the existence of God? Is scientific knowledge valid? If so, what can validate science? And what makes these philosophers, who lived and thought centuries ago, so modern?



For students on the Liberal Arts program

Mid Term: take-home assignment, 15% of the final grade.

Final requirement: take-home exam, 85% of the final grade.


Please note that there is an extra assignment for international and OSP students whose assessment schedule is as follows:

Mid Term: take-home assignment, 12% of the final grade.

Final requirement: take-home exam, 68% of the final grade.

Extra assignment: short essay, 20% of the final grade.



Attendance is mandatory. Students are permitted a maximum of three unexcused absences without penalty. Any additional absences will affect the final grade and may result in failure of the course.


Academic conduct:

Plagiarism is taken extremely seriously. Any instance of academic misconduct which includes: submitting someone else’s work as your own; failure to accurately cite sources; taking words from another source without using quotation marks; submission of work for which you have previously received credit; working in a group for individual assignments; using unauthorized materials in an exam and sharing your work with other students, will result in failure of the assignment and will likely lead to further disciplinary measures.


Additional requirements: all phones must be turned-off while in class.

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