Idealism, Empiricism & Criticism in 18th Century Philosophy

The second half of the 18th Century was a time of fierce debate between the schools of idealism, empiricism, and criticism that extended to the nature of subjectivity, aesthetics, and the status of nature itself. This module examines key texts from Hume, Baumgarten and Kant, which all confront the new realities of the modern scientific method, the birth of chemistry, and the increasing distinction between philosophical and religious thought. We will focus on issues to do with certainty and faith, the relationship between knowledge and the natural world, and evolution of subjectivity and its grounding of psychology.