Department of Philosophy

Catherine Wilson: PhD course - Philosophy, History, and the History of Philosophy

This course is for PhD students in philosophy and follows upon that given by Mark Bevir the week before.

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Reading List

Lucretius: On the Nature of Things --useful background reading for both topics.

I. Corpuscularianism: For and Against.
Descartes: The World, Chs. 1-7. (Cottingham et al. Vol. 1)
Boyle: The Excellency and Grounds of the Mechanical Hypothesis (excepted in M.A. Stewart, Selected Writings of Robert Boyle)
Locke: 'Simple Ideas' 'Perception' Essay, Book II, Ch VIII, IX
Leibniz: New System of the Nature and Communication of Substances

II. Aspects of Human Nature
Descartes: Meditation VI
Hobbes, Leviathan Ch. 14 & 15.
Locke, 'Power ' Essay, BK II, Ch 21.
Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Sects. 5 and 6.


20/8, 9-13 Session 1: Corpuscularism: For and Against
21/8, 9-13 Session 2: Aspects of Human Nature
22/8, 9-13 Session 3: Student presentations



About Catherine Wilson

Since 2012 Catherine Wilson has been Anniversary Professor of Philosophy at York University. From 2008 to 2012 she was Regius Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen.

Her research is focused on the relationship between historical and contemporary developments in the empirical sciences, including physics and the behavioural and life sciences, and some traditional problems of philosophy. Forthcoming are a study of Newtonian matter theory in the 18th century, several papers on anthropology and moral philosophy in the Enlightenment, a paper on fiction-induced emotions, "Grief and the Poet," and an essay on Ernst Mach, Robert Musil, and literary modernism. She is also interested in metaethics from a naturalistic perspective.