FIL4620 – History of Philosophy 1600-1800 with long essay

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.

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

Only master degree students in philosophy can formally enroll, and take the course for credits. The 30-credits version of the course is available only for students who choose to write a MA-essay, FIL4091, instead of a Master's Thesis, FIL4090, and therefore need further 30 credits.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FIL4600 – History of Philosophy 1600-1800


14 double sessions with seminars. There are two compulsory tuition activities:

  • 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.


A term paper of 25-50 pages à 2300 characters, literature list not included.  The paper is to be submitted in Fronter. The topic must be approved by the teacher.


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