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Course Detail

Course Name Introduction to Philosophical Thinking in Europe
Course Code 21PHL502
Program M.A. in Philosophy
Semester One
Credits 4


Unit I

Introduction to Western Philosophy: The term ‘Philosophy’ in Western Understanding, The Nature of Early Greek Thinking, Classification of Western Philosophy.
Early Greek Thinkers: Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, Parmenides and Heraclitus.

Unit II

Socrates: General Philosophy of Socrates, The Method of Socrates (Dialectic Method, Midwifery Method.
Plato: The Theory of Idea, Concept of State, The Immortality of the Soul, The Importance of Plato in Western Philosophy.
Aristotle: Criticism of the Ideal Theory of Plato, Philosophy of Nature, The Nature of Soul, The Importance of Aristotle in Western Philosophy.

Unit III

Medieval Philosophy: The Nature of Medieval Philosophy, Major Philosophers in Medieval Philosophy, The Concept of the World (in general), Knowledge of God, and The Proofs for the Existence of God.

Unit IV

Modern Philosophy
Francis Bacon: Introduction to Bacon’s Philosophy, The Importance of Bacon in Western Philosophy.
Rene Descartes: Introduction to Descartes Philosophy, Cogito Ergo Sum (its significant contribution in Western Philosophy)
Benedict de Spinoza: General Introduction to Spinoza, The Method of Spinoza.

Unit V

Empiricism: John Locke (Meaning of Ideas, Refutation of Innate Ideas, Sensation and Reflection), George Berkeley (The Refutation of Abstract Ideas, The Existence of Spirits, Esse Est Percipi), David Hume (The Idea of Cause, Belief in the Existence of External World)

Course Overview

“Introduction to Philosophical Thinking in Europe” is a course offered to S1 MA Philosophy students. It aims to provide an introduction to Western Philosophical systems. The course provides a general understanding on the cosmic order of the world from a Western perspective with its historical developments. This course will help the students (including students whose Under Grad is in other discipline) to get a clear understanding on the basics of Western Philosophical traditions.

Course Outcomes

CO1: Understand the general features of Western Philosophy
CO2: To get a historical understanding on the systems of Philosophy
CO3: To analyze the general features of Philosophy by comparing Western Philosophical traditions
CO4: To develop a culture of critical and analytical thinking


1, Russel, B. A History of Western Philosophy. UK: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1946. English.
2, Thilly, Frank. A History of Philosophy. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1924. English. (Text Book)
3, F. Copleston. A History of Philosophy. New York: Image, 1993. English.
4, Y Masih. A Critical History of Western Philosophy. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited, 2013. English.

CO – PO Affinity Map



CO1 3 1 3
CO2 3 1 1
CO3 1 1 2
CO4 3 3 3

3 – strong, 2 – moderate, 1 – weak

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