Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
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:

  1. Analyze and evaluate major intellectual movements and representative philosophers from the very late 16th century into the 17th and 18th centuries.
  2. Examine and compare the development of important and influential epistemic, metaphysical, ethical and political concepts and theories.
  3. Analyze and summarize interconnections between early modern philosophy and the developing modern science.

Course Content

  1. 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
  2. Natural philosophy's development into modern scientific inquiry
    1. Nicholas Copernicus
    2. Johannes Kepler
    3. Galileo Galilei
    4. Isaac Newton
  3. Rationalism
    1. Rene Descartes
    2. Blaise Pascal
    3. Baruch Spinoza
    4. Gottfried Leibniz
  4. Empiricism
    1. Francis Bacon
    2. Thomas Hobbes
    3. John Locke
    4. George Berkeley
    5. David Hume
  5. 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

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

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

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Reading of primary and secondary literature

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Cahn, Steven M.. Classics of Western Philosophy. 2012.

Marshall, Eugene, and Susanne Sreedhar. A New Modern Philosophy: The Inclusive Anthology of Primary Sources. 2019.

Baird, Forest (editor). Philosophic Classics, Volume III: Modern Philosophy. 2011.

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

Some of these anthologies are older than five years; however, the readings themselves are 17th and 18th century and thus there are no recent changes. The books are chosen on the basis of the quality of the selections and translations.

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

  1. Answering critical study questions designed to direct students to key issues
  2. Comparative written analysis of philosophers based on a list of approved essay topics