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Modern Philosophy

(5 reviews)

Walter Ott, University of Virginia

Copyright Year: 2013

Publisher: BCcampus

Language: English

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Reviewed by Jeff Lavoie, Adjunct Professor, Middlesex Community College on 5/26/21

This book deals with the major texts from the "modern" time period; however, it is more of an anthology than it is a textbook. read more

Reviewed by Robert Morton-Ranney, Adjunct Faculty, Massachusetts Maritime Academy on 6/22/20

This book covers the area promised (also see Cultural comments below). Its best use could be as a companion text to other more explanatory material, especially if it is included in introductory classes. read more

Reviewed by Alyssa Adamson, Adjunct Instructor, Northeastern Illinois University on 4/8/20

The beginning glossary and mini introduction to logic is useful, especially given that even in a focused class on the history of modern philosophy, this course may be student’s first philosophy class and text. It is great to warm the students up... read more

Reviewed by Aaron Boyden, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Rhode Island College on 5/21/18

The book is focused on the early modern period, and generally presents the usual suspects. It does seem to devote more attention to the empiricists than to the rationalists; maybe a little Leibniz would have been a good addition to improve the... read more

Reviewed by Jim Sharp, Adjunct Professor, Colorado State University - Pueblo on 2/1/18

This book serves primarily as a reader in western philosophy during the modern period, covering major thinkers from Descartes to Kant. In addition, excerpts from Aristotle and Aquinas are supplied in a background chapter. The book does an... read more

Table of Contents

  • 1. Preface
  • 2. Minilogic and Glossary
  • 3. Background to Modern Philosophy
  • 4. René Descartes (1596–1650)
  • 5. Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677)
  • 6. John Locke's (1632–1704) Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689)
  • 7. George Berkeley (1685–1753)
  • 8. David Hume's (1711–1776) Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • 9. Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)

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About the Book

This is a textbook in modern philosophy. It combines readings from primary sources with two pedagogical tools. Paragraphs in italics introduce figures and texts. Numbered study questions (also in italics) ask students to reconstruct an argument or position from the text, or draw connections among the readings. And I have added an introductory chapter (Chapter 0 – Minilogic and Glossary), designed to present the basic tools of philosophy and sketch some principles and positions. The immediate goal is to encourage students to grapple with the ideas rather than passing their eyes over the texts. This makes for a better classroom experience and permits higher-level discussions. Another goal is to encourage collaboration among instructors, as they revise and post their own versions of the book.

About the Contributors


Walter Ott is an associate professor in Corcoran Department of Philosophy at the University of Virginia.

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