Spring 2018: Leibniz and Spinoza
Alexander R. Pruss
Course web page: http://AlexanderPruss.com/classes/ls/
Class times: M 2:30-5:15 in MH 107
Office hours: MW 10:00-11:10 am or by appointment or just catch me
Š N. Rescher, G.W. Leibniz's Monadology: An Edition for Students, paperback.
Š G. W. Leibniz, Philosophical Essays, ed. Ariew and Garber, Hackett. Online in library.nlx.com (“Continental Rationalists”).
Š B. Spinoza, Ethics; Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect; and Selected Letters, Hackett, paperback.
Grading and requirements:
Š One 12-15 page paper on Leibniz (due April 2) and one 9-12 page paper on Spinoza (due April 30).
Š Class participation is required and counts towards the grade. Prepare for each class by reading the assigned reading.
Tentative reading assignments:
May change: check a week ahead.
Always read the additional selections included with each Monadology paragraph.
Š Jan 8: Parmenides, fragments
Š Jan 22: Monadology 1-6; Principles of Nature and Grace 1-2; Discourse on Metaphysics 1; Letters to Burnet, Ariew-Garber 285-290; Bailey
Š Feb 5: Monadology 9-22; “On the Method of Distinguishing Real From Imaginary Phenomena” (Loemker, 602-607, to be put in box); Letters to Clarke, II.1, III.5-8, IV.1-24; "On Copernicanism..." (Ariew-Garber, 90-94); Black; Hacking
Š Feb 12: Monadology 22-39; Discourse on Metaphysics 13-15; “The Ultimate Origin of Things”; “Contingency”; “Freedom and Possibility”; “On What is Independent of Sense and Matter” (Ariew-Garber, 186-192); Leftow, “God and the Problem of Universals” (in box); “Two Studies in the Logical Calculus” (in box)
Š Feb 19: Letter to Countess Elizabeth (Ariew-Garber, 235-240); Descartes’ Meditation 5; Monadology 40-55; St Anselm’s Proslogium I-IV; Pruss, “Goedelian Argument Improved”; Pruss, “Goedelian Ontological Arguments Improved Even More”
Š Feb 26: Theme: Leibniz’s physics. “A Specimen of Dynamics” (Ariew-Garber, 117-138); various pieces (Ariew-Garber, 307-320); Letters to Clarke II.4-II.12; Rescher, “What Einstein Wanted” (in box); Monadology 56-81 (sorry, that’s a lot of text!); John Roberts on Leibniz; Kenneth Pearce (in box)
Š Mar 19: Theme: overall assessment. Adams, Chapters 9-11; recall Garber (in box); “Reflections on the Common Concept of Justice” (Loemker, in box)
Š Mar 26: Spinoza, Ethics, part I and Letters 2-12
Š Apr 2: Spinoza, Ethics, part II up to proposition 17 and Letter 56
Š Apr 9: Spinoza, Ethics, rest of part II and Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, and Letter 32
Miscellaneous lecture notes (often from previous times I taught the class, and I may no longer agree with them; use at your own risk):