Professor Kenneth Surin114 Art Museum Building, East CampusTel# 684-4364

Office Hours: please sign up on sheets on my office door or make an appointment.The class will be run as a seminar in order to encourage close and detailed readings of the text. Texts for this class can be obtained from the Textbook Store in the Bryan Center (tel: 684-6793).



Students taking this course for credit will have to submit a 20-30 page term paper.


Descartes, Rene Discourse on Method and Meditations Penguin

Spinoza, Benedict Ethics Oxford University Press 

Spinoza, Benedict Theologico-Political Treatise/Political Treatise Dover

Leibniz, G.W.F. Monadology University of Pittsburgh Press

Deleuze, Gilles Expression in Philosophy Zone Books 

Deleuze, Gilles The Fold University of Minnesota Press

James, Susan Passion and Action Oxford University Press

Mayer, Michael Philosophy and the Passions Penn StatePress


August 29 Introductions

Sept 5 Descartes, Discourse on Method

Sept 12 Descartes, Meditations

Sept 19 Spinoza, Ethics, Parts 1and 2

Sept 26 Spinoza, Ethics, Parts 3 and 4

Oct 3Spinoza, Theologico-Politico Treatise

Oct 10Spinoza, Political Threatise

Oct 17 Leibniz, Monadology

Oct 24Deleuze, Expression in Philosophy

Oct 31Deleuze, The Fold

Nov 7James, Passion and Action

Nov 14 Mayer, Philosophy and the Passions

Nov 21No Class- Thanksgiving Break

Nov 28Miscellaneous Articles and Class Wrap-Up



Here are some useful additional secondary texts for the topics covered in this class:


Susan Bordo, Feminist interpretations of René Descartes

John Cottingham, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Descartes

E.M. Curley, Descartes Against the Skeptics 

Willis Doney, ed., Descartes: A Collection of Critical Essays

Daniel Garber, Descartes Embodied: Reading Cartesian Philosophy Through Cartesian Science

Stephen Gaukroger, Descartes: An Intellectual Biography

Jean-Luc Marion, Cartesian Questions: Method and Metaphysics 

Geneviève Rodis-Lewis, L'anthropologie cartésienne

Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, ed., Essays on Descartes' Meditations

Peter A. Schouls, Descartes and the Enlightenment 

Jorge Secada, Cartesian Metaphysics: the Late Scholastic Origins of Modern Philosophy

Tom Sorrell, ed., Descartes

Bernard Williams,Descartes: the Project of Pure Enquiry

Margaret D. Wilson, Descartes


Jonathan Bennett, A Study of Spinoza's Ethics

E.M. Curley, Behind the Geometrical Method: A Reading of Spinoza's Ethics

E.M. Curley and P.-F. Moreau, eds., Spinoza: Issues and Directions 

Douglas Den Uyl, Power, State and Freedom: An Interpretation of Spinoza's Political Philosophy 

Don Garrett, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Spinoza

Gilles Deleuze, Spinoza: Practical Philosophy

Marjorie Grene, ed., Spinoza: A Collection of Critical Essays

Martial Gueroult, Spinoza I: Dieu

-----------, Spinoza II: L'Ame

Stuart Hampshire, Spinoza

Genevieve Lloyd, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Spinoza and the Ethics

Genevieve Lloyd, Part of Nature: Self-Knowledge in Spinoza's Ethics

Pierre Macheray, Hegel ou Spinoza

Alexandre Matheron, Individu et communauté chez Spinoza

Steven M. Nadler, Spinoza: A Life

Warren Montag, Bodies, Masses, Power: Spinoza and His Contemporaries

Christopher Norris, Spinoza and the Origin's of Modern Critical Theory

G.H.R. Parkinson, Spinoza's Theory of Knowledge

Steven B. Smith, Spinoza, Liberalism, and the Question of Jewish Identity

H.A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of Spinoza

Yirmiyahu Yovel, Spinoza and Other Heretics, 2 vols.

Yirmiyahu Yovel, ed.,Spinoza on Knowledge and the Human Mind

Yirmiyahu Yovel, ed., Desire and Affect :Spinoza As Psychologist

Studia Spinozana is a very useful annual publication containing essays, reviews, and discussions.


Harry G. Frankfort, ed., Leibniz: A Collection of Critical Essays

Ian Hunter, Rival Enlightenments: Civil and Metaphysical Philosophy in Early Modern Germany

Nicholas Jolley, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Leibniz

G.H.R. Parkinson, Logic and Reality in Leibniz's Metaphysics 

Nicholas RescherLeibniz: An Introduction to His Philosophy

Patrick Riley, Leibniz' Universal Jurisprudence: Justice as the Charity of the Wise

Bertrand Russell, A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz

Donald Rutherford, Leibniz and the Rational Order of Nature

Anthony Savile, Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Leibniz and the Monadology

Catherine Wilson, ed., Leibniz

The Leibniz Society Review contains essays, reviews, and discussions.


Daniel Garber and Michael Ayers, eds., The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy 

Rocco J. Gennaro and Charles Huenemann, eds., New Essays on the Rationalists

Derk Pereboom, ed., The Rationalists: Critical Essays on Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz 

Richard H. Popkin, The History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Spinoza

Margaret D. Wilson, Ideas and Mechanism: Essays on Early Modern Philosophy 

R.S. Woolhouse, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz: the Concept of Substance in Seventeenth Century Metaphysics 


Here are some useful links for the topics covered in this class:


Great Voyages Page

Chrisstenson's Descartes Page


Chrisstenson's Spinoza Page

Spinoza Chronology

Spinoza Exhibition

Spinoza Webibliography

Spinoza Page (Oregon State U.)

Studia Spinoziana

UK Spinoza Site

Yesselman's Spinoza Page


Gregory Brown's Leibniz Page

Chrisstenson's Leibniz Page

Roger Jones's MONADOLOGY Glossary

Paul Lodge's Leibniz Page

Donald Rutherford's Leibniz Page

Duke University Online Catalogue