Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason

Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
a. Preface to the second edition 1787;
b. the whole Introduction:
namely from “I. Of the difference between Pure and Empirical Knowledge” to “VII. Idea and Division of a Particular Science, under the Name of a Critique of Pure Reason”)
text available at
Journals due on April 3.

Guidance questions:
1. Which problem does Kant see in Mathematics, Natural Science (Physics) and Metaphysics (philosophy)? What does he aim to achieve?
2. How is judgment important for science? What means a priori synthetic judgment?
3. What means Copernican Turn in Kant's view of knowledge?

Empiricism & Rationalism

In order to understand Kant, we have to know the philosophers before him. Therefore please do research on these two terms: "Empiricism" and "Rationalism".
Key question: their different accounts of knowledge, regarding the relationship between thinking beings (subjects) and existing things (objects). Do you agree with their explanation of knowledge?
Major philosophers: Hume for Empiricism and Leibniz for Rationalism
Methodology: Research on internet or in library

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Descartes: Discourse on Method

Descartes: Discourse on Method,(Part I-IV)
Text available at:
Journals due on Mar 27.
Questions for reading guidance:
What’s Descartes’ criterion for truth and knowledge?
What’s Descartes’ method to get such knowledge?
Do you think his method can guarantee the truth?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Augustine: Confessions

Augustine: Confessions
Read Book XI
text available at
Focus on
1. How can we perceive past, present and future?
2. Why is it difficult to describe time?
3. What's the relationship between God and time?
Journals due on March 13.