Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Identify significant theories held by major philosophers and/or philosophic schools of thought from the 17th and 18th century European tradition.
  • Explain and evaluate historically important philosophical arguments from ancient through medieval period.


Examination of the major European philosophers and philosophic movements of the 17th and 18th centuries. Particular attention to paid to the transition out of the Medieval period into the Age of Enlightenment.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. analyze and evaluate major intellectual movements and representative philosophers from the very late 16th century into the 17th and 18th centuries.
B. examine and compare the development of important and influential epistemic, metaphysical, ethical and political concepts and theories.
C. analyze and summarize interconnections between early modern philosophy and the developing modern science.

Course Content

A. The beginnings of modern philosophy and the presumptive authority of the past.
1. The Church and Aristotle as limitations on the advancement of scientific and philosophic development during the Medieval period.
B. Natural philosophy's development into modern scientific inquiry.
1. Nicholas Copernicus.
2. Johannes Kepler.
3. Galileo Galilei.
4. Isaac Newton.
C. Rationalism.
1. Rene Descartes.
2. Blaise Pascal.
3. Baruch Spinoza.
4. Gottfried Leibniz.
D. Empiricism.
1. Francis Bacon.
2. Thomas Hobbes.
3. John Locke.
4. George Berkeley.
5. David Hume.
E. Enlightenment philosophy.
1. Jean Jacques Rousseau.
2. Francois Voltaire.
3. Immanuel Kant.

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Short answer and essay exams.
B. Quizzes and take-home study questions on the reading.
C. Term paper.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture.
B. Discussion.
C. Reading of primary and secondary literature.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Cahn, Steven M. Classics of Western Philosophy. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 2012.

Kolak, Daniel and Garrett Thomson. The Longman Standard History of Modern Philosophy. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Publishers, 2006.

Baird, Forest, ed. Philosophic Classics, Volume III: Modern Philosophy. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Publishers, 2011.

Ariew, Roger and Eric Watkins. Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 2009.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Answering critical study questions designed to direct students to key issues.

B. Comparative written analysis of philosophers based on a list of approved essay topics.