This course will seek to assess ‘the meaning of modernity’ by examining its founding ontological commitments; by considering how these commitments are operative in modern conceptions of nature and scientific knowledge, politics and the state, and freedom and anthropology; and by evaluating their theological significance, especially in light of developments at the Second Vatican Council and in the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI regarding the meaning of the human person. The course will center largely on primary sources which may include Machiavelli, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Rousseau, Vico, and Newton.
Early Modern Thought
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince.
Francis Bacon, The New Organon.
Cottingham, Stoothoff, and Murdoch (eds.), The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, vols. 1 and 2.
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan.
Giambattista Vico, The New Science.
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract.
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature.
Alexander Brodie, The Scottish Enlightenment Reader.
Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy of Science
Dr. Hanby is author of No God, No Science?: Theology, Cosmology, Biology (Wiley-Blackwell 2013) which reassesses the relationship between the doctrine of creation, Darwinian evolutionary biology, and science more generally. He is also author of Augustine and Modernity (Routledge 2003).Learn More