Plato: Intro to Philosophy
Examines how philosophy differs from science, religion, and other modes of human discourse, by tracing the origins of philosophy in the Western tradition in the thinkers of Ancient Greece. Students will focus on Plato’s thoughts about the ultimate constituents of reality, along with the thoughts of his teacher, Socrates, and some of their predecessors.
Aristotle: Philosophy of Man
Examines Aristotle’s understanding of man, as described in his ethical work, Nicomachean Ethics. Students will explore Aristotle’s description of human nature as having rational and irrational psyches as well as a natural drive for creating society, gaining knowledge, finding happiness and feeling connected with God, both it its own right, and as a foundation for the theological and philosophical developments of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Junior standing or permission.
Political Philosophy (3 credits)
This course is concerned with the examination of society and the relationships among individuals within a society as the basis for political community. Studies Aristotle’s Politics, with its exploration of the origins of political communities as a basis for exploring the role of various political and social institutions in contemporary society. Students will also engage this study in the context of Catholic teaching regarding the universal kingship of Jesus.
Philosophy of Nature
This course gives a philosophical account of the existence, principles, and causes of change as it is found in natural things (generation, corruption, increase, decrease, alteration, and locomotion). Causality, chance and purpose in nature are also dealt with. Then the implications of this general account for human nature and the cause of nature itself are considered. Hume’s critique of causality is considered in light of the Aristotelian and Thomist traditions.
Aristotle: Ethics (3 credits)
Continues the study of Aristotle from PHIL 301, studying further Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and also his Eudemian Ethics. Students will explore Aristotle’s view of ethical theory as distinct from the theoretical sciences by examining its methodology, its general principles, and its application to the nature of human well-being. Students will also study the ethical virtues (justice, courage, temperance and so on) and how such virtues are acquired. Again, Aristotelian thought will be engaged as foundational to Thomastic thought. Prerequisite: PHIL 301 or permission. Prerequisite: Junior standing or permission.
Aristotle: Metaphysics (3 credits)
Examines Aristotle’s Metaphysics to study such topics as first causes and the principles of things; substance, matter, and subject; substance and essence. Students will study these and other topics as foundational to understanding Catholic theological doctrines on such matters as transubstantiation. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission.