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IDSEMUG 1904 - Descartes

This course is a seven-week introduction to the major philosophical works of René Descartes (1596-1650). As we read Descartes’ writing, we will study some of the concepts his work is best known for, among them, radical doubt, mind-body dualism, and the “I” created by his famous formula cogito ergo sum, or “I think therefore I am.” We will take an interdisciplinary approach to our study of Descartes, valuing careful close readings of the texts and putting Descartes’ thought in conversation with literary works of the period (Calderón and Shakespeare, for instance). At the same time, we will look ahead to some of Descartes’ more recent interlocutors, examining the debates of twentieth-century thinkers responding to Cartesian questions. Class Notes: Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: Wednesday, March 27; Last Class: Monday, May 13.
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