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Augustine Tutorial

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99 – Locke’s Essay Fall 2005 Syllabus Important Information: Meeting Time: 2:00 – 3:30 Mondays Professor: Jeffrey McDonough Office Hours: 314 Emerson Hall, Mondays 1:00 – 2:00; Wednesdays 2:00 – 3:00 E-mail: jkmcdon@fas.harvard.edu Required Texts (available at the Coop): John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited with Introduction by Peter H. Nidditch (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979). Reserved Texts (available at Robbins Library): Vere Chappell, The Cambridge Companion to Locke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Nicholas Jolley, Locke: His Philosophical Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999). Course Description: Locke’s Essay, one of the masterpieces of the history of philosophy, was both a polemical attack on the rationalism of Descartes and his followers, and the founding text of what would become known as the tradition of British Empiricism. We will focus on a close reading of sections of the Essay. Topics will include: the theory of ideas, the attack on innate ideas, matter and consciousness, personal identity, and knowledge. Requirements and Grading: 1. Attendance Given the nature of tutorials, regular attendance is absolutely essential, and students will be expected to arrive promptly at every meeting. If you cannot attend a particular meeting please let the professor know ahead of time. All absences will require proper documentation as described in the ...

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99 – Locke’s Essay
Fall 2005
Syllabus
Important Information:
Meeting Time:
2:00 – 3:30 Mondays
Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Office Hours:
314 Emerson Hall, Mondays 1:00 – 2:00; Wednesdays 2:00 – 3:00
E-mail: jkmcdon@fas.harvard.edu
Required Texts
(available at the Coop)
:
John Locke, An
Essay Concerning Human Understanding
, edited with
Introduction by Peter H. Nidditch (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1979).
Reserved Texts
(available at Robbins Library):
Vere Chappell,
The Cambridge Companion to Locke
(Cambridge:
Cambridge
University Press, 1994).
Nicholas Jolley,
Locke:
His Philosophical Thought
(Oxford:
Oxford University
Press, 1999).
Course Description:
Locke’s
Essay
, one of the masterpieces of the history of philosophy, was both a
polemical attack on the rationalism of Descartes and his followers, and the
founding text of what would become known as the tradition of British
Empiricism.
We will focus on a close reading of sections of the
Essay
.
Topics
will include: the theory of ideas, the attack on innate ideas, matter and
consciousness, personal identity, and knowledge.
Requirements and Grading:
1.
Attendance
Given the nature of tutorials, regular attendance is absolutely essential, and students will
be expected to arrive promptly at every meeting.
If you cannot attend a particular
meeting please let the professor know ahead of time.
All absences will require proper
documentation as described in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Handbook.
Any student
with more than one absence unexcused by the standards of the Handbook should expect
to receive an F for the course.
2.
Reading
It is crucial to the success of this course that students read the assigned texts before
tutorial meetings.
The assigned readings are short, but difficult, and it is expected that
students will have read through them at least twice carefully and thoughtfully.
Secondary
sources are available in Robbins Library.
No readings from them have been assigned, but
students may find them helpful in stimulating their own thoughts either for discussion or
writing.
3.
Discussion and Writing
One of the principal aims of this course is to give students a chance to engage in
philosophical discussion in a small group setting.
For this reason, informed, considered
participation in tutorial meetings is vital.
In order to facilitate discussion, and give students an opportunity to reflect on their own
views before discussion, a short writing assignment is due each week.
A carefully
written essay of 1-3 pages should be e-mailed to all members of the tutorial, including the
professor, by midnight before the next meeting.
Essays should be explicitly related to the week’s readings, but otherwise their topics are
up to students.
You might, for example, explore a theme you find especially interesting,
raise a question and suggest an answer, or relate something in the reading to points raised
in the previous week’s discussion.
You may also engage with the secondary readings
placed on reserve in Robbins.
Each student may decide not to submit a writing assignment for any two weeks over the
course of the semester without penalty.
If on a given week, you decide use one of your
“passes,” you should inform the professor by e-mail.
Note, students not writing will still
be expected to participate during the tutorial meeting.
4.
Grading
Students’ grades will be based on their participation in tutorial meetings, and the quality
of their weekly essays.
After approximately our fourth and eighth meetings, the
professor will send out e-mails informing students of the grades they may expect given
their current level of performance.
Unless circumstances require, there will be no exams
or term papers.
Tentative Schedule by Meetings
All references are to Locke’s
Essay
by book, chapter and, where appropriate, section
(1) The Project of the Essay: [NOTE: NO WRITING ASSIGNMENT THIS WEEK]
Required
:
Forward (vii-xxvi); Epistle to the Reader (6-14); Table of Contents (15-41,
just look over); I.i (that is, Book I, chapter i)
[possible all of chapter 1]
(2) Presidents’ Day
(3) The Attack on Innate Ideas:
Required
:
I.ii; I.iv
(4) The Theory of Ideas
Required
:
II.i.1-5; II.ii-iii; II.vi; II.vii; II.xii.1-7
Optional
:
II.i.viii; II.xi-xii
(5) Primary/Secondary Quality Distinction:
Required
:
II.viii; II.xxiii.9-12; II.xxxi.1-2; IV.ii.11
Optional
:
II.xxi.1-4; II.xxiii.7-8
(6) Substance and Body
Required:
I.iv.18; II.xxii-xxiii; II.xii.8; II.xiii
(7) Classification of Substances -
Nominal and Real Essence:
Required
:
II.xxx-xxxii; III.vi; IV.iv.11-14; IV.vi.4-6
Optional
:
III.iii; III.ix-x (both review)
(8) Locke’s Philosophy of Language and Abstract General Ideas:
Required
:
III.i-v; III.ix-x; and then II.xi.1-11; IV.vii.9
(9) Locke on the Limits of Knowledge:
Required:
IV.i-iii, IV.vi.4-15, IV.xii.7-10
(10) Liberty and Necessity:
Required:
II.xxi
(11) Personal Identity:
Required:
I.iv.3-5; II.xxvii
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