Modern Philosophy


1 - Acquire a basic knowledge of the most important figures in Western philosophical thinking in modern times and of some of their texts.
2 - Identify the most significant philosophical issues in modern European thinking and describe them precisely.
3 - Acquire a basic ability to place concepts, methodological ideas and doctrinal positions in the historical context to which they belong.
4 - Acquire an ability to identify the distinctive features of European philosophy in the modern age from both a methodological and thematic point of view.
5 - Acquire an ability to identify and describe the elements representing continuity or rupture in the formulation of philosophical questions and in the suggestions for solving them.
6 - Acquire an ability to read and interpret some of the fundamental texts from the modern age.
7 - Comprehend the importance of studying modern philosophy for understanding some current philosophical questions.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Marta Maria Anjos Galego de Mendonça


Weekly - Available soon

Total - 168

Teaching language





DESCARTES, Oeuvres Complètes. 11 vols. Publiées par Charles Adam et Adam
Tannery. Édition du Jubilé. Paris : Vrin, 1996.
HUME, The philosophical works. 4 vols. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1964.
I. KANT, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. III: Kritik der reinen Vernunft, ed. Königlich
Preussische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Georg Reimer, 1911; reimpr. Kants
Werke, Vol. III, ed. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenchaften, Berlin, de Gruyter, 1968.
LOCKE, The Works of John Locke. 9 vols. London: Routledge/Thoemmes Press, 1997.
B. SPINOZA, The Collected Works of Spinoza. 2 vols. Edited and translated by Edwin
Curley. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Teaching method

The course will have a double explanatory and hands-on approach. There will be theoretical classes, designed to introduce and frame the ideas of several philosophers, as well as to formulate and expand the problems under review; and classes more focused on the analysis and discussion of the literature. Students will have access to the texts to be discussed and should prepare them before class.
In class teaching

Evaluation method

1. Participation (10%), 2. One written test at the middle of the course (25%), 3. One written test at the end of the course(65%)

Subject matter

Error, illusion and ignorance in Early Modern Philosophy
Reflexion about error – its symptoms, causes and manifestations, as well as the ways we
can use to protect ourselves against it – was at the centre of the debate in early modern
European philosophy, and this gave it a markedly critical tone. Error is seen no more as
an accident of reason: it becomes a constant danger or also a condition of human reason.
The consequences or the effects of this new way of conceiving the relationship between
reason and truth affected all the philosophical systems of early modern philosophy at
source and propelled their influence well beyond just the modern period.
This course will consider the problem of error and the questions associated with it, as
formulated and successively reformulated in European philosophy during the 17 th and
18 th centuries.


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