2019 - 2020

0618-1068   Elementary Skills - Descartes  
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES | PHILOSOPHY
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University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

The primary objective of the 'Guided reading' course is to provide the students with various reading and writings skills involved in analyzing and assessing philosophical texts. Under the supervision of the course instructors, the students engage in a careful reading of one of the most formative texts in the early modern era, Descartes’ “Meditations.” Through a close analysis of this canonical text, followed by a class discussion, the students are well acquainted with the foundations of Cartesian philosophy. The main goal of the course, however, is to advance the students’ abilities of reading and interpreting various forms of philosophical arguments, and of expressing themselves clearly in both writing and speaking. Besides its intrinsic merits, Descartes’ “Meditations” also serves to exemplify various strategies and lines of argument employed in other philosophical texts as well. The course focuses on exposing the logical and argumentative structures of the text, its implicit assumptions and commitments, as well as its rhetoric, its appeal to linguistic devices, and the various contexts wherein it can be posited. 
Course requirements: attendance (mandatory); weekly reading and participation in class; short writing assignments throughout the semester.
The course ends with a paper. The final grade is composed of the final paper (40%), and the grades awarded for the short writing assignments during the term (60%).

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