Philosophy at Aquinas College

Philosophy Courses

PH101 Introduction to Philosophy (3) HP

Definition of philosophy; survey of principal questions in ethics, metaphysics, epistemology; philosophy of religion and political philosophy

PH110 What is Justice? (3) HP

In this course, we take up the perennial question, What is Justice? We will consider different answers to this question. In doing so, we will focus on how the question is articulated in ancient and modern philosophical works.

PH111 Logic (3) HP

Basic tools for analyzing and criticizing arguments, including basic patterns of deductive logic, recognizing common fallacies, and criticizing analogical and causal arguments.

PH214 Ancient Philosophy

This course traces the historical development of Ancient Greek discussions of nature and metaphysics, knowledge, philosophical anthropology, and the ethics born of the love of wisdom for its own sake. The primary texts considered in this course are those of the fragments and testimonia (selections) of the Pre-Socratics beginning with Thales of Miletus (6th Century BC), and essential texts from Plato, Aristotle (5th-4th Century BC), and the Hellenistic period, including Lucretius and Epictetus. 

PH215 Ancient Greek and Chinese Philosophy (3) HP

Major philosophers between the 5th century B.C. and the 3rd century A.D. including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius and Lao Tzu.

PH220 Medieval Philosophy (3) HP

Major philosophers between the 4th and 14th centuries: Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, members of the Arabic and Jewish schools, Duns Scotus, Ockham.

PH225 Modern Philosophy (3) HP

Critical review of the most influential writings of four major philosophers: Descartes, Locke, Hume and Kant.

PH238 Environmental Philosophy (3)

An examination of the various responses to the call to go beyond conservationalism and reform environmentalism of the 60’s and beyond environmental ethics. Topics include: deep ecology, eco-feminism, social ecology and radical environmentalism.

PH244 Medical Ethics (3)

Application of ethical principles to cases in medicine; end of life care, abortion, psychosurgery, informed consent, medical experimentation, genetic counseling and research, allocation problems. Prerequisite: PH101 or instructor permission.

PH245 Philosophy of Religion (3)

Historical and contemporary readings on the problem of God: theology and falsification, the problem of evil, faith and knowledge, rationality of religious belief, and immortality.

PH248/CA248 The Catholic Intellectual Tradition (3)

This course is a survey of themes and impact of the Catholic intellectual tradition on the development of Western Civilization. The Catholic vision of God (Being), the World (Creation), the Human Being and Society in the works of major Catholic thinkers will be foundational to understanding Catholicism’s contribution to the fields of philosophy, science, politics and ethics.

PH251 Philosophy of Law (3)

Philosophical discussion of contemporary philosophical writings and law cases in the areas of free speech, privacy, criminal liability, civil liability, legal insanity, death penalty, legal reasoning and constitutional interpretation, and sex equality and discrimination.

PH255 The Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas (3)

Introducing students to the life and works of St. Thomas Aquinas in relation to the perennial Catholic and Dominican traditions, this course treats the Angelic Doctor’s philosophical contributions in epistemology, nature, philosophical anthropology, ethics, and metaphysics

PH306 Epistemology (3) ME

Theory of knowledge; evidence, knowledge and opinion, the a priori, truth, insight; canons of inquiry: history, science, religion, and literature as knowledge.

PH310 Special Topics (Variable)

Variable topics offered on an occasional basis. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.

PH312/PS312 Political Thought: Its Histories & Concepts (3)

Highlights of the history of political philosophy, Ancients, Medieval, Modern social contract theories, Marxism, liberalism, and postmodernism, using primary and secondary source materials. Deals with the relationship between politics and truth; the nature of political authority; democratic theory; the nature of the good society and its relationship to particular theories of human nature.

PH331 Metaphysics (3) ME

Issues covered: whether there is a universal, basic human nature; what it means to be a ‘person’; (how) is the mind linked to the body and the soul; what does it mean to be a self.

PH334 Ethics (3)

A historical survey of the ethical theories offered to solve moral problems and the cultural traditions in which they arose. Such theories include virtue ethics, natural law, Stoic ethics, utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, emotivism, ultratrunism, existential ethics, and feminist ethics. The course will challenge the students to discover ethical approaches to moral decision-making in post-modern pluralistic society.

PH399 Independent Study (Variable)

Individually negotiated project of defined nature established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: approval of the department chairperson.

PH450 Philosophical Research (3) SC

The aim of this course is to strengthen proper philosophical research methods and practices in students, as well as assist them in producing a piece of original philosophical writing of a very high quality. This course is not accepted for the General Education Humanities requirement.

PH490 Special Topics (3)

Periodically, the department offers courses in such areas as: Anglo-American philosophy, continental phenomenology-existentialism, philosophy of art, texts of specific philosophers; philosophy of mind; philosophy of science