PH60A — History of Philosophy

Course Objectives

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Students taking this course will be expected to:

  1. Acquire an overview of debates on methods of philosophizing in history.
  2. Critically engage with texts by some key authors in history of philosophy
  3. Acquire a more detailed understanding of some particular debates within the listed areas.
  4. Develop their ability to think independently about philosophical problems by critically assessing arguments in these areas.
  5. Acquire an overview of debates on the distinguishing features of each philosophical epoch in human intellectual history

Course Outline

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This course provides the opportunity to study some of the central problems and some of the central thinkers of a specific period in the History of Philosophy in the broadest sense. In this regard students are encouraged to read the primary texts of the periods under study. Because specialization and interest of lecturers may vary, the lecturer for the Course will determine which period will be studied. The periods include Philosophies of the Ancient World – such as in Asia (e.g., India, China, Asia Minor and Africa); Socrates, Plato and Aristotle; Post-Aristotelian Philosophy in Greece, Middle East and Africa – Christianity in its early days, Medieval Philosophy (European Dark Ages and Civilization in Asia Minor and Africa); Modern Philosophy – Bacon, Descartes, Leibnitz, Spinoza, Malebranche, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Machiavelli, Berkeley, Kant, etc., and Contemporary period – Wittgenstein, Russell, Rorty, Derrida, Ayer, Quine, Wiredu, Sodipo, Nkrumah, Garvey, Malcolm X, Du Bois, Nyerere Awolowo, etc.


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Course will be administered by a combination of Seminars and Lectures.

Contact Hours: 3 Hours weekly.


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  • One In-course essay (3,500 to 4,000 words) … … 40%
  • Final two-hour Examination … … 60%

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