This course focuses on René Descartes (1596-1650), the founding figure of modern philosophy. We explore Descartes' contributions to the questions "What can we know?" (including his important introduction of the "intuitive" method in philosophy, and his radical claim that absolute knowledge is indeed possible), and "Do we have minds or souls capable of surviving the death of our bodies?" (where he famously argues that we do), as well as his thoughts on human free will, God, and Nature and some of his fiercest critics, including John Locke, Isaac Newton, David Hume, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
Dr. ANDERS KRAAL, PhD, is a Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at UBC. Before joining UBC, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Notre Dame in the US, and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Calgary. Although he describes himself very much as a philosophical generalist, he also specializes in the philosophy of religion, existentialism, David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Søren Kierkegaard.