3. Philosophy-as-proof

NB: Assignment #5 [PDF]  – due Nov 20

week 13: Mon Nov 20 & Wed Nov 22

In order to understand the idea of “proof” or “demonstration”, we will preliminarily familiarize ourselves with Euclid’s axiomatic method (for an introduction, see here) by reading the first book of the Elements.

reading – Euclid, Elements, book I [text] [slides]

week 14: Mon Nov 27 & Wed Nov 29

Having mastered the axiomatic method, we will read book I of Spinoza’s Ethics. This is a philosophical treatise that employs the axiomatic method to establish propositions about the nature of reality, the existence of God, the relationship between matter and soul, happiness and the good life. We will, however, only have time to read the parts about God’s existence.

reading – Spinoza, Ethics, book I [text] [guide to text]

NB: Assignment #6 [PDF]  – due Dec 4

week 15: Mon Dec 4 & Wed Dec 6

Same topic as last week.

week 16: Mon Dec 11

Final overview of the course.

 NB: Assignment #7 [PDF]  – due Dec 13 –  submit assignment here