This course examines the major philosophies of the modern period, focusing on Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel and Nietzsche. The premise of the course is that Descartes' dualism of matter and mind lends itself to the opposition between empiricism (Hume) and Descartes’ rationalism. Kant's critical philosophy attempts to resolve this conflict through a creative compromise. Further attempts to alleviate the conflict are proposed by Hegel’s idealized philosophy of history, and the Nietzschean response to it. The course attempts both an evaluation of modern philosophies on their own terms, and a critical assessment of their presuppositions.