COOL CLASSES: “Mind and World”

This philosophy course is an introduction to the history of our conception of ourselves as rational beings in the world through a close reading of Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant.

Class name: Mind and World

Taught by: T. Wistar Brown Professor of Philosophy Danielle Macbeth


Here’s what Macbeth has to say about her course:

Although we do not generally realize it, many of our most fundamental beliefs about ourselves and the world, including those that underlie and shape research practices in the natural and social sciences, were first worked out by philosophers. Often, we do not even realize that we hold these beliefs; to us they just seem obvious.

In this class we study three of the greatest and most influential thinkers in the western philosophical tradition—Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant—in order to come to understand and to begin to reflect thoughtfully, knowledgeably, and critically on why we think as we do about ourselves and the world. The aim is to empower students to take responsibility for the presuppositions that fundamentally shape their understanding of themselves, their lives, and the world we live in—either to self-consciously to embrace those presuppositions or to begin, instead, to formulate new and better alternatives.



See what other courses the Department of Philosophy is offering this semester.

Cool Classes is a recurring series on the Haverblog that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford College experience. 

Photo by Cole Sansom ’19.