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Philosophy

Department Chairperson: Fr. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S.

Support Area Director: Fr. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S.

Faculty: Joan Crist, Ph.D.; Fr. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S.

Program Details


Minor in Philosophy (15 hours)

To earn a minor in Philosophy, students must take PHIL 200 plus any other twelve hours with a PHIL prefix.

Philosophy Courses (PHIL)

PHIL 200. Great Philosophical Ideas
3 hours
In this course, students seek what is true and good in conversation with the Great Books of Western philosophy. The foundation is the Seminar, an open conversation centered on a text and guided by the instructor. Students read and discuss works by Plato, Aristotle, and other philosophers of classical Greece and Rome, scholastic and spiritual thinkers of the Middle Ages such as Anselm and Aquinas, and seminal thinkers of the modern world, such as Rene' Descartes, John Locke, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
(This course is a CCSJ General Education option in Humanities.)
Prerequisites: EWPC 103

PHIL 321. What Is Real? Metaphysics
3 hours
Beginning with Plato and Aristotle, students trace the history of distinct approaches to the question of what is truly real, as well as the development of formal logic. Through a close study of selections from Euclid’s Elements, students develop the discipline to follow a train of deductive reasoning. Through study of Thomas Aquinas, students trace arguments for the existence of a supreme being. Through selections from Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Darwin, and other writers, students trace revolutions of thought that mark the modern history of metaphysics and the physical sciences, and call into question the existence of God, truth, and reality.
Prerequisites: PHIL 200, EWPC 103, or Instructor consent.

PHIL 322. How Can I Know? Epistemology
3 hours
In this course, students read and discuss works related to epistemology, theories of the soul, psychology, and sociology. Beginning with Plato and Aristotle, students trace the history of distinct approaches in the Ancient world to the nature of the human spirit and how human beings perceive, understand, feel, and develop personalities. Continuing with the late Patristic period and Middle Ages, students analyze the spiritual itineraries of great mystical writers, such as Bonaventure or Teresa of Avila. Concluding with modern philosophers, such as Descartes, William James, Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, students explore how modern thinkers approach the problems of knowledge, human development, and the relationship of mind and body.
Prerequisites: PHIL 200, EWPC 103, or Instructor consent.

PHIL 323. How Should I Live? Ethics
3 hours
In this course, students investigate various ethical frameworks, with the goal of developing a well-formed conscience and ethically reflective mindset in personal and professional life. Frameworks include Aristotle's virtue ethics, the natural law approach of Thomas Aquinas, Kant's deontological approach, the utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill, and the social contract theories of Locke, Rousseau, or Hobbes. Through the application of these approaches, students evaluate and form well-grounded judgments on issues such as honesty, respect, relationships, consent, privacy, prejudice, decision-making, economic and environmental stewardship, individual rights, and personal and social responsibility. Ultimately, students develop an answer to the question, “What is ethics, why do I need it, and how do I apply it to my personal and professional life?”
Prerequisites: PHIL 200, EWPC 103, or Instructor consent.
PHIL 375/BSMT 375, Business Ethics, also satisfies the requirements for this course.

PHIL 375. Business and Professional Ethics
3 hours
This course will investigate some of the major social and ethical issues associated with business and the professions. Topics to be covered include theories of right and wrong, relativism, the justification of moral judgments, the social responsibilities of business employers, bluffing in negotiations, deception in advertising, extortion, decision-making role of the professional and professional responsibility.
Cross-listed: BSMT 375
Prerequisite: PHIL 200

PHIL 496. Topics in Philosophy
3 hours
Topics courses in philosophy allow students to explore philosophical texts and issues not studied in the core classes and are developed according to student and faculty interest. Appropriate Religious Studies/Theology courses, History courses, and Directed Studies may be accepted in fulfillment of this requirement with the approval of the program director and with an appropriate final assessment.
Prerequisites: PHIL 200, EWPC 103, or Instructor consent.




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