Philosophy Professors: Brian Braman, B.S. Central Michigan, S.T.B. Gregorian, A.M. Gonzaga, Ph.D. Boston College; Richard Keeley A.B., A.M. Boston College; Joseph Jiang, S.J., A.B., A.M. Manila, S.T.L. Weston, Ph.,D. Boston College; Peter J. Kreeft, A.B. Calvin, A.M., Ph.D. Fordham; Judge James Menno, Probate and Family Court, A.B., Ph.L., J.D. Boston College; James Weiss, A.B. Loyola of Chicago, A.M., Ph.D. Chicago.
PL 00501 Problems in Philosophy
This course introduces students to the problems and procedures of the Western philosophical tradition. Examines selected works of such key thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Descartes, Locke and Rousseau.
Fall, Thurs 6:30-9, Sept 5-Dec 12, Professor Braman
Spring, Thurs 6:30–9, Jan 16–May 8, Professor Braman
PL 08301 Explorations in Social Ethics
Every culture treasures and transmits stories that graphically convey its values. Some stories, like the Exodus story of liberation and new freedom, resonate across time and cultures. Others are more localized and sometimes at odds with dominant cultural stories. This course examines both kinds of stories in works of literature, film, journalism, social analysis and theology. Readings include a study of Exodus, Jaroslav Pelikan’s Jesus Through the Centuries, Arundhati Roy’s Power Politics and Michael Walzer’s Exodus and Revolution. In the study of clashing stories, we conclude with the story of the universal family as articulated by Pope Paul VI’s On the Development of Peoples.
Spring, Wed 6:30–9, Jan 15–May 7, Associate Dean Keeley
PL 08701 Perspectives: Shaping Cultural Traditions
What does it mean to be good? Is it possible to be both good and happy, both good an successful? Is morality subjective or are there clear ways to regulate it? How can we balance the individual and the community in our moral struggles? This course examines eight traditions of morality and ethics: existentialist, utilitarian, Catholic, Protestant, Christian feminist, Black theology, rights theories, and Aristotle. Students apply classic and modern thinkers to contemporary ethical problems with emphasis on current events and movies. Class meetings emphasize interactive discussion. Students discover the sources of values that formed their lives and develop a perspective for themselves and their futures.
Spring, Mon 6:30–9, Jan 13–May 5, Professor Weiss
PL 25201 Practical Logic
Basic principles and practice of classical Aristotelian (common-sense, ordinary-language, not mathematical) logic. One of the most practical courses any learner can take; on the very structure of rational thought itself and how to put this order and clarity into individual thinking.
Fall, Tues 6:30–9, Sept 3–Dec 10, Professor Kreeft
PL 30902 Marriage and the Family
Course explores the significance of the most fundamental and intimate human relationship, marriage and the family. It considers a cross-cultural understanding, the individual dimension and the interpersonal interactions which occur. Focus is on the American marriage and family to see why and how it has evolved into its present form.
Spring, Sat 9–3:30, Mar 15–May 3, Professor Jiang, S.J.
PL 45401 Law and Morality
What is the relationship between man-made law created by the courts and the legislature and religious values? Is there a religious and moral foundation to our civil law in the United States? What do we do when confronted by a “wrong” law such as segregation? How do we determine if a law is wrong? Should religious and moral codes be part of the fabric of decisional case law? This course, taught by a sitting family court judge, will compare the classic moral thinking of such authors as Plato, Aquinas, Mill and Locke to actual Constitutional decisions on such issues as the war on terror, capital punishment, gay marriage, sexual privacy, immigration, freedom of religion, abortion and the right to refuse medical treatment.
Fall, Wed 6:30–9, Sept 4–Dec 11, Professor Menno
PL 48301 Philosophy of Human Sexuality
This topic generates more talk and less light than almost any other subject. Course considers what is sexuality? Why is it so mysterious? How important is it to self-identity, self-knowledge and relationships? How can we think clearly and fairly about current controversies such as surrogate parenting, AIDS, contraception, gender identity and roles, relation between sex and family, marriage, religion and society? Philosophers, novelists, scientists, theologians, psychologists and even mystics shed light on this issue.
Spring, Tues 6:30–9, Jan 14–May 6, Professor Kreeft
Anticipated Philosophy electives 2014-2015
Philosophy in Cinema; Philosopy in Fantasy and Science Fiction