24.01 | Spring 2016 | Undergraduate

Classics of Western Philosophy


[P] = Plato. Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo (Hackett Classics). 2nd ed. Edited by John M. Cooper. Translated by G. M. A. Grube. Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporation, 2002. ISBN: 9780872206335. [Preview with Google Books]

[D] = Descartes, René. Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. 4th ed. Translated by Donald A. Cress. Hackett Publishing Company, 1999. ISBN: 9780872204201.

[K] = Kant, Immanuel. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals: With On a Supposed Right to Lie because of Philanthropic Concerns. 3rd ed. Translated by James W. Ellington. Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporation, 1993. ISBN: 9780872201668. [Preview with Google Books]

[H] = Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. 2nd ed. Hackett, 2012. ISBN: 9780872202290.

[PV] = Pojman, Louis P., and Lewis Vaughn. Classics of Philosophy. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780199737291.

1 First class None
Socrates (c. 470 BCE - 399 BCE) and Plato (429? BCE - 347 BCE)
2 Socrates and the Law

[P] “Apology.”

[P] “Crito.”

3 Elenchus [P] “Euthyphro.”
4 Akrasia & Pragmatic Paradox [P] “Meno 70a–80d.”
5 Knowledge and Learning [P] “Meno 80d–100b.”
6 The Soul in Plato [P] “Phaedo 57a–95b.”
Aristotle (384 BCE - 322 BCE)
7 The Soul in Aristotle

[PV] “On the Soul, Books II–III.”

[PV] “Politics I.”

Aristotle. “On the Generation of Animals.” 2016.

8 Happiness [PV] “Nichomachean Ethics: Book I” (especially chapters 1 and 7–8).
9 Virtue [PV] “Nichomachean Ethics: Book II” (especially chapter 6).
Renè Descartes (1596–1650)
10 Skepticism [D] “Meditation 1.”
11 Cogito [D] “Meditation 2.”
12 Existence of God [D] “Meditations 3 and 5.”
13 Distinction between Mind and Body

[D] “Meditation 6.”

Atherton, Margaret. “Selections from her Correspondence with Descartes: Elisabeth to Descartes.” In Women Philosophers of the Early Modern Period. Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporation, 1994. ISBN: 9780872202597. [Preview with Google Books]

Descartes, Rene. Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings. Translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch. Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 139–43. ISBN: 9780521358125. [Preview with Google Books]

Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673)
14 Intelligent Matter Cavendish, Margaret. Observations upon Experimental Philosophy (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy). Edited by Eileen O’Neill. Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 125–49. ISBN: 9780521776752. [Preview with Google Books]
David Hume (1711–1776)
15 Empiricism [H] “Enquiry 1–3.”
16 Induction [H] “Enquiry 4–5.”
17 Causation [H] “Enquiry 7.”
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)
18 The Good Will

[K] “First Section.”

Kant, Immanuel. “Of the Different Human Races.”

19 Hypothetical and Categorical Imperatives [K] “Second Section.”
20 Hypothetical and Categorical Imperatives (Cont.) None
John Stuart Mill (1806–1873)
21 Utilitarianism Mill, John Stuart. Chapters 2 and 4 in Utilitarianism. 4th ed. Edited by Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. ISBN: 9781492144090.
22 Women’s Rights? ———. Chapters 1–2 in The Subjection of Women. 1st ed. Edited by Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer. Nabu Press, 2010. ISBN: 9871172450848.
23 Slavery

———. “Book 2: Of Slavery.” Chapter 5 in Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. Edited by William J. Ashley. Adamant Media Corporation, 2001. ISBN: 9780543794505.

Douglass, Frederick. Chapters XIV–XVII in My Bondage and My Freedom. Penguin Classics, 2003. ISBN: 9780140439182. (Academic Affairs Library, University of North Carolina)

W. E. B. DuBois (1868–1963)
24 Double Consciousness

Du Bois, W. E. B. Chapters 1–2 in The Souls of Black Folk. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. ISBN: 9781505223378. [Preview with Google Books]

———. “Of the Sons of Master and Man.” Chapter 9 in The Souls of Black Folk. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. ISBN: 9781505223378.

Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986)
25 Transcendence Beauvoir, Simone de, Constance Borde, and Sheila Malovany-Chevallier. The Second Sex. Vintage, 2011, pp. 23–29. ISBN: 9780307277787.
26 Last class None

Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments with Examples