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Woods College of Advancing Studies



Philosophy Professors: Brian Braman, B.S. Central Michigan, S.T.B. Gregorian, A.M. Gonzaga, Ph.D. Boston College; Douglas Finn, B.A. Wabash College, M.T.S., Ph.D. Notre Dame; 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; Andrea Staiti, B.A., M.A. University of Milan, Ph.D. Freiberg; James Weiss, A.B. Loyola of Chicago, A.M., Ph.D. Chicago.

PL 005  Problems in Philosophy
PL00501 Syllabus - Prof. Braman
PL00502 Syllabus - Prof. Staiti
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.
PL00501, Thurs 6:30–9, Jan 16–May 8, Professor Braman
PL00502, Tues 6:30–9, Jan 14–May 6, Professor Staiti

PL 08301  Explorations in Social Ethics
PL08301 Syllabus
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
PL08701 Syllabus
What does it mean to be good? Is it possible to be both good and happy, both good and successful? Is morality subjective or are there clear ways to regulate it? How can we balance the individual and the community in our moral deliberation? This course examines various theological and philosophical traditions of ethical thought, including existentialism, utilitarianism, Catholic and Protestant moral theology, Christian feminism, Black theology, rights theories, and Aristotelian virtue ethics, among others. Students will apply classic and modern thinkers to contemporary ethical problems, as exemplified through current events, film, and other artistic media. Students will be challenged to discover and critically engage with the sources of value that have shaped their lives and that will continue to inform the moral landscape of our culture.
Spring, Mon 6:30–9, Jan 13–May 5, Professor Finn

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 48301  Philosophy of Human Sexuality
PL48301 Syllabus

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