Content

This unit explores the thought of the medieval philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas (1225–74), with a focus on his ethics and his metaphysics. It is suitable as an introduction both to medieval philosophy and to the main elements of Thomistic thought. The unit examines selected themes in Aquinas in their medieval context, in the context of Aquinas’ own thought, and in the context of the later history of Thomism. The unit introduces some key Thomistic doctrines and the fundamental concepts of Thomistic philosophy, in addition to ‘patterns of thought’ that are distinctively Thomistic. Topics covered may include: metaphysics and the real distinction of being and esse, virtue theory, natural law, cosmology and the perfection of the universe, the human soul and immortality.

Unit Code: AP9121C

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Philosophy

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning Outcomes

1.

Explain and critically interpret the core theories of Aquinas taught in the unit; for example, the metaphysics of esse, virtue theory and natural law theory

2.

Critically compare and contrast the position of Aquinas (and the various interpretations of Aquinas) from the positions of later Thomists on metaphysics and ethics

3.

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Aquinas’ theories of metaphysics and ethics

4.

Appraise Aquinas’ positions on metaphysics and ethics in their medieval context, and their place in Aquinas’ thought as a whole;

5.

Assess the degree to which the metaphysics and ethics of Aquinas have continuing validity and viability as a contemporary system of thought;

6.

Define, plan and undertake a topic of research in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner

Pedagogy

Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Assessments

Description Weight (%)

Option 2: 4,000-word essay 50%
1,000-word skeleton argument 10% 2-hour written exam (2,000 words) 40% Essay: week 14, 15 or 16, as set at start of semester by lecturer & published in unit outline. Skeleton argument: week 13.

OR Option 1 or 3

100.0

Option 3: 4,000-word essay 50% 1,000-word skeleton argument 10%
2,000-word essay 40% Essay: week 14, 15 or 16, as set at start of semester by lecturer & published in unit outline. Skeleton argument: week 13

OR Option 1 or 2

100.0

Option 1: 6,000-word essay 100% Wk 16 1,000 skeleton argument 10% Wk 11

OR Option 2 or 3

100.0
Approvals

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 20 Jul, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-10-03 11:54:20 +1000