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.