HNRS2560: Western Intellectual Traditions II

Credits 3

This course will focus primarily on the Western Intellectual Traditions (WIT) since the sixteenth century. The seventeenth century revolutions in cosmology, science, and philosophy are characterized by a number of important themes, centered around the rise of new epistemologies, methodologies, and sources of authority. In this course, we will look at the following three principal areas of change: the demise of church authority in settling scientific and philosophical questions, the demise of Aristotelian physics, and the revolutionary potential of new scientific and religious thought. We will examine these by looking at major thinkers and events of the period and the impact that each had on the dynamic intellectual evolution of the time. By the late nineteenth century, modern western thought was again in crisis, calling into question the foundations of western political, scientific, and economic power. In the twentieth century, liberal democracy triumphed politically over its competitors, primarily communism and fascism; however, its original philosophical foundations were increasingly untenable. The course will conclude with a critical evaluation of the relationship of faith, philosophy and science in modernity.


Acceptance into the Aldersgate Honors College