Professor Edwin McCann Professor Gideon Yaffe
MHP-107/MHP-205F, mc. 0451 MHP-B7AD, mc. 0451
213-740-5169, FAX 213-740-5174 213-740-6544, FAX 213-740-5174
A study of some of the main doctrines of Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding, and the systematic criticisms of these doctrines given by Leibniz in his New Essays concerning Human Understanding; topics include innatism, necessity, substance, mechanistic explanation, identity, and free will.
Books for the course
1. John Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding, edited by P. H. Nidditch. Oxford University Press.
2. Roger Ariew and Daniel Garber, eds. Leibniz: Philosophical Essays. Hackett Publishing
3. G.W. Leibniz, New Essays Concerning Human Understanding. Peter Remnant and Jonathan Bennett, eds. Cambridge University Press
4. (Optional) Chappell (ed), Hobbes and Bramhall on Liberty and Necessity. Cambridge University Press.
1. Regular attendance and participation in discussion.
2. One term paper of from 15 to 20 pages, due December 13 at 4:00 p.m.
Schedule of Topics and Readings
September 1: The Aristotelian tradition vs. the Mechanical Philosophy; Locke on the 'historical, Plain Method'. Reading: Locke, Essay Epistle to the Reader and Introduction (Book I, chap. 1); Boyle, Origin of Forms and Qualities (1666) [in Works, 1772 edition, vol. 3] pp. 11-17, 27- 49 or Stewart, pp. 13-23, 37-72; About the Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis [Works vol. 4] pp. 67-78 or Stewart, pp. 138-54; A Free Inquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature [Works vol. 5] pp. 167-71, 174-80 or Stewart, pp. 176-91. [EM]
September 8: Innatism and necessary truths. Reading: Locke, Essay I.2-4, II.1; Leibniz, New Essays Preface, I.1, II.1; Nicholas Jolley, Leibniz and Locke, chapter 9. [GY]
September 15: Leibniz on necessary and contingent truth. Reading: 'Meditations on Knowledge, Truth and Ideas' in Ariew & Garber (hereafter A&G), pp. 23-7; 'On Contingency,' A&G pp. 28-30; 'Primary Truths,' A&G pp. 30-4; 'On Freedom', A & G pp. 94-98; 'Discourse on Metaphysics,' A&G pp. 35-68; 'Letters to Arnauld,' A&G pp. 69-90; Robert Adams, 'Leibniz's Theories of Contingency.' [GY]
September 22: Locke vs. Leibniz on substantial forms. Reading: Locke, Essay II.31.6, III.3, 6, 10, 11; Leibniz, New Essays III.6; 'Discourse on Metaphysics,' Secs. 18-22, A&G pp. 51-4; 'New System of Nature' A&G pp. 138-45; Michael Ayers, "Locke and Aristotle on Natural Kinds"; Nicholas Jolley, Leibniz and Locke, chap. 8. [EM]
September 29 Locke on substance. Reading: Locke, Essay II.12, 13, 23, 30, 31; Stillingfleet correspondence [in Works 1823 edition, vol. 4] pp. 23-8, 69-91, 157-78, 363-5, 429-40; Michael Ayers, 'Ideas of Power and Substance in Locke's Philosophy'; Martha Bolton, 'Substances, Substrata, and Names of Substances in Locke's Essay.' [EM]
October 6: Leibniz on substance. Reading: Leibniz, New Essays II.23; 'On the Ultimate Origination of Things,' A&G pp. 149-55; 'Principles of Nature and Grace,' A&G pp. 206-13; 'The Principles of Philosophy, or, the Monadology,' A&G pp. 213-25; Ian Hacking, 'Individual Substance'; N. Jolley, Leibniz and Locke, chap. 5. [EM]
October 13: Locke and Boyle on primary and secondary qualities; the scope and limits of mechanistic explanation. Reading: Boyle, Origin of Forms and Qualities in Works, III, pp. 18-27 or Stewart, pp. 23-37; Locke, Essay II.8, II.21.1-5, 73; IV.3. [EM]
October 20: Explanation and necessity. Reading: Stillingfleet correspondence [Works vol 4] pp. 457-83; Margaret Wilson 'Superadded Properties'; Michael Ayers, 'Mechanism and Superaddition'; Edwin McCann, 'Lockean Mechanism.' [EM]
October 27: Leibniz on Locke on explanation and necessity. Reading: Leibniz, New Essays II.8, IV.3, 6; 'On Nature Itself,' 'Letters to Burnet and Lady Masham' in Ariew and Garber, pp. 155-67, 284-91; Nicholas Jolley, Leibniz and Locke, chaps. 4, 6. [EM]
November 3: Personal Identity. Reading: Locke, Essay I.IV.4-5, II.I.11-19, II.27; Ken Winkler, 'Locke on Personal Identity'; Ruth Mattern, 'Moral Science and the Concept of Persons in Locke' [GY]
November 10: Personal Identity. Reading: Leibniz, New Essays II.27; From the Correspondence with Arnaud, A & G pp. 69-79 (especially pp. 73 and 79), Nicholas Jolley, Leibniz and Locke, ch. 7. [GY]
November 17: Free Will. Reading: Bramhall, 'Discourse of Liberty and Necessity', Chappell pp. 1-14 (optional); Hobbes, 'Of Liberty and Necessity', Chappell pp. 15-42; Locke, Essay II.21 (focussing on sections 1-30); Vere Chappell, 'Locke on Freedom of the Will' [GY]
November 24: Free Will. Reading: Locke, Essay II.21 (focussing on sections 31-72), Locke's Correspondence with Van Limborch [Begins with letter #2881 of Correspondence, v. 7] [GY]
December 1: Free Will. Reading: Leibniz, New Essays II.21; 'Letter to Wederkopf' [Loemker, selection #9], 'Letter to Coste', A & G pp. 193-196; Selections from Theodicy: pp. 53-62, 302-330; 'Necessary and Contingent Truths' [pp. 96-105 of Parkinson, ed. Leibniz: Philosophical Writings] [GY]
December 8: Clean-up [EM, GY]