The Thomist 68 (2004): 507-29
WHAT IS NATURAL LAW? HUMAN PURPOSES AND
The Catholic University of America
Ethics in general, and medical ethics in particular, are obviously related to human selfunderstanding, t
3 December 2011
Is it still wrong if another culture says it is
right? A teachers surprising discovery
Recently, a Canadian high school teacher broke the silence about where
cultural relativism really leads.
Update: When we celebrate divers
Introduction to Philosophy
2 Dec 2012
Receiving a proper moral education and adhering to natural law, over all other laws, is
the only way for us to achieve happiness, our proper human end. Without a pr
The assignment is to present an analysis of Books II and III of The Confessions of St. Augustine. This work is
an autobiography that St. Augustine wrote when he was forty-three years old. These two books focus on his
life between the ages
St. Augustine Paper Outline
(1) Assignment: Answer the following question: What are some ideas that characterize the
moral philosophy of St. Augustine as expressed in his reflections on his youth in Books II and III
of The Confessions?
PHIL T122: Introduction to Philosophy
Paper Cover Page
Title of Paper
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EXISTENTIALISM READING QUESTIONS
Readings from: The Gay Science, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, The
Antichrist and Sartres Existentialism.
1. A prophet is not just one who can predict the future, but one who has insight into the
READING QUESTIONS FOR PLATOS REPUBLIC
Note: Socrates strategy for coming to an understanding of what personal or individual
justice is is to understand first what civil justice is. In other words, if we can figure out
what makes a city just, then m
READING QUESTIONS FOR PLATOS REPUBLIC
THE DEFINITION OF JUSTICE
[Book I: 327a-354a]
The big question in the Republic of Plato is this: should we be just (i.e. good) people, and
if so, why? In other words, what is the reason or motivation for being
READING QUESTIONS FOR LEWIS MERE CHRISTIANITY
1. What two points does Lewis make in the first chapter?
2. State one of the arguments that Lewis makes against the claim that the Moral Law is
3. How does Lewis argue against the claim tha
READING QUESTIONS FOR PLATOS APOLOGY
1. Give a brief account of Socrates story about the Oracle at Delphi.
2. How does the oracle lead to Socrates falling out of favour with his fellow citizens?
What does he do to annoy them?
3. What does Socrates
READING QUESTIONS FOR ARISTOTLES METAPHYSICS I.1-2
In this reading Aristotle is attempting to explain what sort of knowledge belongs to the
science known as metaphysics. It is commonly understood that metaphysics is the highest
kind of knowledge or wisdom
READING QUESTIONS FOR DESCARTES
TRADITION AND THE NEW METHOD
(Discourse, Part 1-3)
1. According to Descartes, on what does progress in the search for truth depend?
Does it depend on natural intelligence?
2. In Descartes assessment of the various arts and
Thomas Aquinas on Faith and Reason
NATURAL VS. SUPERNATURAL KNOWLEDGE
The human mind (reason) is a natural power with its own range and limits.
We say that whatever falls within these limits can be known naturally.
Philosophy, as well as
AUGUSTE COMTE (1798-1857): POSITIVISM AND HUMANISM
REASON AND PHILOSOPHY IN MODERNITY
Natural law presupposes mans rational ability to identify the good and the bad in the world. This
is based on a very robust view of reason.
But the modern concept
INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL LAW
Following our introduction to philosophy and the philosophical life through
Platos The Apology and the Allegory of the Cave, we considered the issue of whether or
not values are objective. We did this because a study of
Aristotle on Moral Education
I: HOW DO WE BECOME VIRTUOUS?
We have determined that happiness is attained through virtue, so the question is now: how do
we attain virtue?
1) By nature
2) By habit
3) By teaching and argument
A Summary of Moral Virtue in Aristotle
1. Virtue is a habit: This means that acquiring the condition of being virtuous (good)
requires the repeated performance of virtuous (good) actions. Likewise, the repeated
performance of vicious (bad) actions results
THE VIRTUES ACCORDING TO ARISTOTLE
Aristotle on Virtue
NATURE OR BY HABIT?
Virtue of character results from habit.
Virtue of character does not arise in us naturally:
If something is by nature it is fixed, it cannot be brought into another condition by
habituation. E.g. a sto
Aristotle on the Parts of the Soul and Moral Types
The Nature and Parts of the Soul
Definition of Soul: The principle of life in living things
3 Parts of the Soul:
- nutrition, growth, reproduction
- plants, trees
2) Appetitive (Sensi
I: THE VIRTUES OF THE CITY
Wisdom: the knowledge of what is good for the city as a whole and how to bring about that good.
(This knowledge belongs to the rulers.)
Courage: the preservation of the laws of the city, which exp
REPUBLIC, BOOK I & II: JUSTICE AND THE GOOD LIFE
I: THE CONVENTIONAL/TRADITIONAL VIEW ON JUSTICE (THE POETS)
Cephalus: The Voice of Pious Authority (328c-331d)
Socrates converses with the pious, aged Cephalus whose nearing death and the threat of
The Allegory of the Cave and the Pursuit of the Good Life
THE INITIAL QUESTION: WHY SELF-EXAMINATION?
In the Apology Socrates tells us that the unexamined life is not worth living.
He also says that the right way to live is to pursue wisdom, truth
SOME BASIC ELEMENTS OF LOGIC
I. CONCEPT: an idea that represents a class of things.
One way that we understand the world of things around us is by classification or
categorization. We group various things together in certain classes or categories or kinds
I: Definition of Terms
Value: an attribute such as good/bad, right/wrong, just/unjust, beautiful/ugly, etc.
Value-statement/judgment: a statement which attributes a value to a thing. (E.g.:Stealing is
bad; Jessica Alba is cu