Philosophy in the GEP:
To achieve the aims of philosophy in the University’s GEP, all students are required to take two philosophy courses: one course that deals with morality, PHL 154 Moral Foundations, and one course that deals with philosophical themes critical to reflection upon the nature of humans as persons. This second course can be chosen from among a number of courses in the Philosophical Anthropology area. In addition, students may choose to take a philosophy course to satisfy the GEP signature requirement in the Faith and Reason area.
Jesuit Tradition Signature GEP Course: PHL 154 Moral Foundations (3-credits)
A critical study of the various ways in which agents, actions, and social practices are evaluated from the moral point of view, as this has been articulated in major Western ethical theories. Tools for this study include an introduction to philosophical reasoning, and concepts basic to the moral point of view, such as rights, duties, virtue and character. Theories studied include but are not limited to Consequentialism, Deontologism, and Natural Law.
This course is a prerequisite for any Ethics Intensive course as well as for the required course in the Philosophical Anthropology area.
- Students will begin to develop the ability to reason philosophically about moral issues.
- Students will learn to take the moral point of view toward moral questions, as distinguished from a legal, managerial or economic point of view.
- Students will come to understand and be able to explain major theoretical approaches to moral issues.
- Students will increase their capacity for moral discernment, by being able to identify and critically evaluate conceptual and theoretical presuppositions of moral views (their own and others’).
- Students will be equipped to participate intelligently in moral debate about significant current issues.
- Students will have laid the foundation for further study of ethical issues that are of personal or professional interest.
Variable GEP Course: PHL xxx: Philosophical Anthropology Course Area (3-Credits)
The requirement of a course in Philosophical Anthropology reflects the conviction that humans are beings who seek to explain to themselves who they are. To paraphrase St. Augustine, if no one asks me what a human being is, I know; if I want to explain it to a questioner, I do not know. The self-knowledge required to meet the challenge posed by Augustine’s questioner may be achieved by courses satisfying one or more of three criteria: the metaphysics of the person, individual and society, and the meaning of life. The possession of this self-knowledge is a prerequisite for achieving the Ignatian ideal ofcura personalis, care that is fitting for a human being in particular.
Course Objectives pursued in courses in the Philosophical Anthropology area will include some or all of the following:
- The student will consider human diversity and human commonality, some bases for these, and what difference these differences should make.
- The student will consider different ways of understanding human beings.
- The student will study different types of explanation for what human beings do, in terms of causation and freedom.
- The student will consider what is given in being human and what is acquired.
- The student will consider differences over time, such as social change and evolution, life and post-death possibility.