Ports of Call



Your Journal

I have decided to scrap the activities associated with this course in the past. In place of those activities you are going to keep a journal in which you are going to try to explain the views of the philosophers you are reading and how you react to what you discover about them. There are various activities such as study questions, quizes and other exercises on the web sites. If you want to make use of these as aids to your studying and journal writing you are certainly welcome to do so. I expect you to write (roughly) from 3 to 5 pages about each unit in the course. Your journal will be 'turned in' approximately every two weeks. This means you will have to keep up.

In writing your entries, you should consider the historical and intellectual context in which the philosopher you are writing about lived. You can find much of this material covered in the Background units on this website. You should also talk about the text you are reading and try to give a clear account of the views you are encountering. Again the Commentary section of this web site should be of use to you here. Finally you need to talk about what you make of all this. This is a good deal to do in 3 to 5 pages, but with some of these philosophers you will have more space, as we spend three units on Descartes and Locke. In giving you account of what each of these philosophers think, you should descend from the general to the more specific. Be as detailed as the limitations in length permit.