Diploma : Philosophy and its History
Access: There are no prerequisites for these short courses. The course material is university level.
Length of Studies: Students have 24 months from the date of enrolment in which to validate the diploma.
Validation: Each of the five courses is assessed by a 5 page written assignment. The diploma is worth 15 ECTS.
Diploma : Philosophy and its history
This course will provide an overview of the history of philosophy in the Latin West during the Millennium that stretches from the 6th century to the 15th century and offers an opportunity to look at the key “lovers of Wisdom” of this period, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Aristotel, and amongst others John Duns Scotus. The focus on philosophical influences continues right up to the social political philosophy influencing the 21st Century.
The courses on critical thinking considers "Epistemology": the science of knowledge. It is an investigation of knowledge and its problems. A synonymous term is “criteriology” which again from the Greek means to distinguish or judge. It deals with testing knowledge to find truth or detect error.
The focus on philosophical influences continues right up to the social political philosophy influencing the 21st Century. Social political philosophy tries to establish norms, rules and ideal standards, how the social and political life should be.
Philosophy and its history
- A brief History of Medieval Philosophy 1
- A brief History of Medieval Philosophy 2
- Introduction to Critical Thinking 1
- Introduction to Critical Thinking 2
- Social Political Philosophy
List of Courses
This course will provide an overview of the history of philosophy in the Latin West during the millennium that stretches from the 6th century to the 15th century. This epoch , as everyone knows, is characterized by the decisive influence of Christian faith on the cultural and doctrinal life of the West. We should begin by noting that the Middle Ages, according to some, forms a parenthesis — something like a void — in the history o f philosophy. And in light of this, we should ask: Can we be both Christians and genuine philosophers? Are faith and philosophy mutually exclusive, or not?
Seventh Lesson: Saint Bonaventure
Eighth Lesson: Saint Thomas Aquinas
Ninth Lesson: Radical Aristotelianism
Tenth Lesson: The Turning Point of 1277 and the Movement of Doctrine in the Late 13th century
Eleventh Lesson: John Duns Scotus
Twelfth Lesson: Doctrinal Life in the Order of Preachers in the 14 th Century
Thirteenth Lesson: William of Ockham and the Movement of Doctrine at the End of the Middle Ages
This course intends to familiarize the students with the debates and contributions of the main philosophical scholars and theories which have developed through history from the time of Greek Sophists through the XX century. Based on the Aristotelian assumption that man is a by nature a political animal, the course intends to give ultimate answers to questions such as how material goods should be distributed; on what basis people should possess property; what are the justified reasons why some people have more properties than others; why political power has to exist; what kinds of governments are acceptable; what does it determine the correct balance between authority and autonomy; what is the right balance between private and common good; what are the justified limits to my/your freedom.
There are many different definitions of Social Political Philosophy (SPP): the political can be defined as social decision making; philosophy is the most general form of inquiry that is the attempt to say what it is true and why. It is a normative discipline: SPP tries to establish norms, rules and ideal standards, how the social and political life should be. Different from Political science, which is the art of governing people, the discipline and the practice of assuring the “common good” of a certain society. Different from Social Sciences, which are descriptive disciplines which try to know the social facts and to find connections between them.
Part I: Historical contributions on social political thought
The Sophists: philosophy goes public; Plato’s Republic; Aristotle’s Politics; Cicero: Ius Gentium; Patristic era, St. Augustine: “De Civitate Dei”; St. Thomas on Natural law; Marsilio: “Defensor Pacis”; Machiavelli: The Prince; The Protestant reformation, Luther & Calvin political thought; Hobbes, Locke on Social Contract; Rousseau: Human nature and society; Montesquieu: Separation of powers; Tocqueville: Democracy in America; Adam Smith: The Wealth of nations; John Stuart Mill: On Liberty; Marx’s Critique of capitalism; Freud: Civilization and its discontents; Dostoyevsky’s Grand inquisitor; Hitler’s Nazism & Mussolini’s Fascism; Gandhi use of Power
Part II: Contemporary social political issues
Theories of Justice & distribution of property; Rights & Freedom; Natural law and social political philosophy; Justifications of the State, forms of Government ; Environment, Individualism, Multiculturalism, Feminism, Civil movements in a globalized world.
Leo Strauss, History of Political Philosophy, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1990
W.L. Mc Bride, Social and Political Philosophy, Paragon House, New York, 1994
Wolff, An Introduction to Political Philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1996
Santoni, & J. Sommerville, Social and Political Philosophy, Anchor Books, NY, 1963
The modern epistemological problem has two aspects:
1. The opposition between science and philosophy or truth and error. We find this basically in Descartes and Kant.
2. The conflict between science and science or that of contemporary and classic physics and not an opposition between science and philosophy or truth and error.