Descartes and Continental Philosophy (PHIL2629)


Descartes is generally regarded as the founder of modern philosophy, and in this unit we look both at his own contribution, and at his influence on the subsequent course of philosophical thought in the work of Malebranche, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Just over half the unit will be devoted to Descartes' own thought, and we will look at the various stages in the development of his ideas. In the second half of the unit, we will examine the ideas of his successors on selected metaphysical themes, above all on perception and the mind/body question.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x2hr lecture/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


1x1000wd tutorial exercise (30%), 1x1000wd presentation (20%), 1x2500 word Essay (50%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12 Junior credit points in Philosophy


PHIL3004 or PHIL2004

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.