The course proceeds by close consideration of a selection of the great classical texts of Western Philosophy. The texts are:
Descartes, Rene : Discourse on the method & Meditations on First Philosophy, 1637, 1641 (Descartes' Selected Philosophical Writings ed.Cottingham, Stoothoff & Murdoch, Cambridge, 1998, CUP; cheaper: the Penguin edition, Discourse on Method and the Meditations, translated and introduced by F.E.Sutcliffe) £7
Locke, John : An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690. Everyman ed. London
Berkeley, George :Principles of Human Knowledge, 1710 ( Ed Jonathan Dancy,
Oxford, 1998, OUP). £7
Hume, David: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748. (Ed. Tom Beauchamp,
Oxford, 1999, OUP) (£6.99). £7.
Kant, Immanuel: A Critique of Pure Reason Everyman ed. £7
These are the main resource for the course and need to have very frequent access to them.
However all these texts are also freely available (in easily 'searchable' form) on the Internet.
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
I suggest two secondary works as likely to help you understand the texts, and to place them in context. I look on them as 'textbooks', backing up the lectures, together covering the course as a whole. They are:
|John Cottingham: The Rationalists, No 4 of History of Western Philosophy, Oxford, 1988, OPUS.||£8|
|Roger Woolhouse: The Empiricists, No 5 of History of Western Philosophy, Oxford, 1988, OPUS .||£7|
For copyright reasons these are not available on the Internet. Participants are recommended to buy their own copies.
Theer is a great deal of helpful introductory and commentary material on the net.
The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy is generally excellent, and a good starting point for web offerings, but each of our philosophers has numerous pages devoted to them and I point out the most useful things as my own presentations develop.
Key portals include:
In general, a different passage from a central text is set as the reading for each week (on the topic of the presentation), and you are encouraged to draw on the relevant textbook as you encounter the need for help. A longer list (but highly select) of books is provided, and you are encouraged to turn to this to enrich your reading, especially for any written assignments you intend to submit. There are also a guides to the things available when you have chosen which aspects of a particular philosopher you want to understand more deeply:
You are also encouraged to go on to explore for yourselves the remainder of the holdings of whatever libraries you have access to.