Length: 1 year (can be spread over 2 calendar years)
Preparing for degree: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
The first year of philosophy begins with a semester of initiation to philosophy: it consists of a general introductory course on the first formulations of human rationality, with the decisive passage from muthos to logos. This semester allows the student to discover the sources of Western thought, through the pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle.
The programme continues with an introduction to metaphysics, one of the most fundamental disciplines in the history of philosophy.
The second semester branches out into several more specific topics such as modern philosophy, ethics and critical thinking.
At the end of the first year, students will have grasped the specificity of philosophical thought, and will have set solid foundations for an excellent academic path in philosophy.
List of Courses
This course introduces some of the key elements in Aristotle's thought. It will consider, among other things, Aristotle on language, logic, “first philosophy” or “wisdom”, and effective choice and action. In the appendices, Aristotle on language and logic in the Organon, on nature in the Physics, on “first philosophy” or “wisdom” in the Metaphysics, and on effective choice and action in the Nichomachean Ethics will be considered.
Metaphysics is the study of things in their ultimate causes. As such, the specialty of metaphysics is that it seeks the final explanation or the ultimate causes of things precisely in so far as they are, in so far as they exist, or in so far as they are real. Aristotle called it “First Philosophy” or “Theology” since it leads to the first principle or the ultimate explanation of all things.
All human knowledge begins with sense experience but can terminate sometimes in the senses, or in the imagination or in the intellect alone . Accordingly we can distinguish between three levels of scientific knowledge corresponding to the three degrees of abstraction from matter which can be made by the intellect in its examination of reality.
Ethics, like philosophy, is in search of principles and universals. Ethics reflects on a particular human experience, namely, the experience of the good or of being good, and sets it in the context of the whole. One could also say that ethics reflects on what is the good and how our lives are oriented towards it
The course aims to show that from its origins through the early efforts made by the earliest oriental thinkers before the era of ancient great Greek thinkers, philosophy has remained a branch of knowledge concerned with fundamental questions concerning existence, human values, language, knowledge and many other matters.