FIL4600 – History of Philosophy 1600-1800

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The topics of this course are works/epochs/schools/ideas in the history of philosophy in the 17th and 18th century. This is the period when the world view of modern science as well as many of the contemporary problems of moral and political philosophy are first formulated. Central figures within metaphysics and epistemology are Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant, in ethics and politcal philosophy: Hobbes, Grotius, Locke, Hume, Smith og Kant.

Learning outcome

The focus will vary from term to term, but the aim is to give the participants an in depth understanding of philosophical problems from this period and to show their relevance for later discussions. Moreover, since much emphasis is put on a careful reading of historical texts, the participants will improve their interpretational skills.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Requires admission to Philosophy (master's two years)


12 double sessions with seminars. The teaching takes place together with students in FIL2701.There are two compulsory tuition activities:

  • Mandatory presence and active participation at the seminars (you must be present at least 9 out of 12 times unless you have a valid reason and can provide documentation)
  • Two short summaries of reading material with 3 questions which have to be handed in directly to the teacher ahead of the meeting where this material will be discussed
  • A draft of the semester paper

All compulsory tuition activities must be accepted as satisfactory in order to qualify for the final exam. The activities are only valid for one semester.

This is how you apply for a valid absence from compulsory activities/compulsory attendance <>.


A semester essay of approximately 10 pages à 2.300 characters, excl. bibliography. The topic must be approved of by the responsible teacher. You submit your essay in Inspera.

In order for you to qualify for the final examination, all compulsory tuition activities must be approved by the teacher.


Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write in English or Norwegian as you prefer.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language