PHIL 320

British Empiricism

This seminar examines the metaphysical and epistemological theories of the British Empiricists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through close readings of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Berkeley's The Principles of Human Knowledge, and Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature. It considers such issues as realism, idealism and skepticism, the nature and scope of scientific knowledge, the nature of the self and self-knowledge, and personal identity. Special consideration is paid to the development of empiricism in the context of scientific and religious controversies in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain. Readings in recent secondary literature is also required.