Early Moderns: The Enlightenment
About the course
Dr. Mitch Stokes begins his introduction to the Enlightenment of the 18th century with the Greek Pythagoreans and the “problem of change” and traces those issues to the Scientific Revolution. Students learn about the search for certainty that led to skepticism through the works of Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Hume, Kant, and finally Reid, as each philosopher grapples with the nature of knowledge.
- To become proficient in the conversational approach to learning: close readings, interpretive questions, and Socratic discussions of the texts.
- To gain a grasp of the literary figures and the historical framework of the time period.
- To develop lateral thinking skills by analyzing and synthesizing themes and motifs.
- To cultivate an appetite for learning as a way of life (the life of the mind).
- To cultivate a desire to pursue the highest things.
- To be able to think Christianly and write persuasively about perennial human questions.
UNIT THREE: THE ENLIGHTENMENT
- What is Enlightenment, Emmanuel Kant
- The Sidereal Messenger, Letter to Benedetto Castelli, and Letter to the Grand Duchess, Galileo Galilei
- Discourse on Method and Meditations, René Descartes
- Laws of Gravity and Motion, General Scholium, and Optics, Isaac Newton
- An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume
- An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense, Thomas Reid
Materials for this course will be made available free of charge by the instructor.