2023-2024 / PHIL0013-1

History of the philosophy of modern times


45h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 
 Master in history (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Olivier Dubouclez

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course will approach modern philosophy with the study of two figures who precisely limit its period: Descartes and Kant. We will consider the evolution of the notion of science, from its Cartesian renovation to the critical questioning of its illusions and limits, but also of metaphysics, from its Cartesian foundation in the ego cogito to the destruction of the metaphysical enterprise in Kant. At the same time as we will comment with precision on the works of these authors, we will describe more broadly the landscape of modern philosophy by referring to other important figures: Pascal, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume and the French Enlightenment.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The goal of this course is to help students acquire a firm knowledge of fundamental philosophical writings and to give access to the doctrine of each author so that students will be able to explain its arguments and to discuss them.
The course implies both the historical knowledge of philosophical ideas and the ability to use them as an individual.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

At least one Philosophy course

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course will fall into 2 main parts devoted to the philosophical conceptions of science and metaphysics in Descartes and Kant. For each of them a presentation focusing on large extracts of their principal writings will be proposed.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Duration and period : 45 hours, 1st quadrimester

Recommended or required readings

Works :

- R. Descartes, Metaphysical Meditations, Meditations I to II.

- R. Descartes, Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Rules 1 to 12.

- E. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason.

Editions used in class will be specified at the beginning of the course, as well as secundary literature to help the students in their reading and learning.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Additional information:

3-hour writing examination including 2 questions on the course itself and 1 explanation of a short text taken from mandatory readings.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Olivier Dubouclez
Departement of Philosophy
History of Modern Philosophy
Place du 20-Août, 7
B-4000 Liège
email: Olivier.Dubouclez@uliege.be

I receive students on Tuesday (12:00-13:00 and 15:00-16:00) or by appointment.

Association of one or more MOOCs