This seminar will focus on German philosophy prior to Kantís Critique of Pure Reason, starting with a review of Leibniz and then proceeding through texts of the most prominent Leibnizians and anti-Leibnizians and culminating in the works of Moses Mendelssohn and the pre-critical Kant. The course is meant as a prequel to a graduate-level course on Kantís first Critique the following year.
Although the course will survey a number of philosophers, students will also have the opportunity to examine specific topics in Leibniz and Kant in greater depth in their seminar papers.
None. But a solid understanding of the philosophy of Leibniz and Kant would be helpful, as would a reading knowledge of Latin, French and German.
Seminar sessions will be focused discussions of the assigned texts, intermingled with an occasional lecture on my part.
Students must complete one essay on a topic to be determined in consultation with me. Suggested length: 20-25 pages.