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Philosophy 2214

WEDNESDAY 7:00 - 10:00 PM
St. Peter’s Seminary, Room 110

INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Michael T. Fox, BA, MA, PhD

519-432-1824, ext. 256

Office Hours are at St. Peter’s Seminary, Room 107B. I have set aside Monday/Wednesday 10-11 a.m. and Thursday 1-2 p.m. as my office hours, but feel free to drop by my office at any time to discuss your insights and questions in philosophy.


An introduction to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas through textual analysis and discussion of a selection of his philosophical writings. The course will concern primarily his philosophy of nature, philosophical psychology, moral philosophy, metaphysics and philosophical theology. Antirequisite(s): Philosophy 2014 or the former Philosophy 220. 


This course will assist students to grow in the following knowledge, skills and attitudes:

What Should Students Know:

- To understand St. Thomas Aquinas’s arguments in four major areas: the philosophy of nature, the philosophy of soul, the philosophy of human action, and metaphysics. (See below, Course Outline 2011-2012)

What Should Students Do:

- To exhibit a sense of wonder and a desire to probe more deeply into the mysteries of God, the universe, and human nature.
- To read carefully the assigned readings.
- To follow carefully the classroom lectures.
- To show in class discussions and written work a firm grasp of the assigned readings and classroom lectures.
- To develop a position on the assigned readings and classroom lectures.
- To present in class discussions and written work sound arguments for their position.
- To be able to write in clear, concise and grammatically correct English. 

What Students Should Value:

- To participate in discussions in a way that makes clear their positions, enables them to listen openly, and maintains respect for others while disagreeing with their ideas. 


First Semester

Two Exams
(1) Wednesday, October 19
(2) Wednesday, November 23

One Essay (1,500 words), due Wednesday, October 26

Second Semester

Two Exams
(1) Wednesday, February 1
(2) Wednesday, March 14

One Essay (1,500 words), due Wednesday, March 21

Final Exam: Held on a date in April to be set by the University   


Four Exams 35%
Two Essays 35%
Final Exam 30%


Aquinas. Selected Writings. Translated by Ralph McInerny. New York: Penquin Books, 1998.

Aquinas. Selected Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Translated by A.C. Pegis. New York: Modern Library. On reserve.

The McInerny text may be purchased at the U.W.O Book Store. You may be able to purchase a copy at the Used Book Store.

Selected readings in philosophy may be assigned for certain course sections in addition to the readings from McInerny and Pegis.

COURSE OUTLINE (2011-2012)

1. Philosophy of Nature

- Read: McInerny, pp. 18-29 (selections will be made)

- Supplementary Sources:

Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics. Trans. R. Blackwell et al. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963.

Aquinas. Basic Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Ed. A. Pegis. New York: Random House, 1945.

Aristotle. Physics and De Partibus Animalium. In The Basic Works Aristotle. Ed. R. McKeon. New York: Random House, 1941.

Bacon. Advancement of Learning. Novum Organum. New Atlantis. Ed. R. McKeon. New York: Random House, 1941.

Darwin. The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. New York: Modern Library, 1872.

De Koninck, C. The Unity and Diversity of Natural Science.

Einstein, A. The Evolution of Physics: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta. New York: Touchstone, 1966.

Hempel, C. Philosophy of Natural Science. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Nahm, M.C. Selections from Early Greek Philosophy. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1964.

Newton. Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and Optics. Trans. A. Motte. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1952.

Smith, V.E. The General Science of Nature. Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing, 1958.

2. Philosophical Psychology

- Read:
McInerny, pp. 410-428 (selections will be made)
Pegis, pp 280-428 (selections will be made)

- Supplementary Sources:

Aristotle. De Anima. New York: Penquin Classics, 1986.

Aristotle. De Anima in the Version of William of Moerbeke and the Commentary of St. Thomas Aquinas. Trans. K Foster and S. Humphries. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951.

De Koninck, C. Is the Word “Life” Meaningful?.

Halverson, W.H., ed. Concise Readings in Philosophy. New York: Random House, 1981.

Reith, H. An Introduction to Philosophical Psychology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1961.

Taylor, R., ed. The Empiricists: Locke, Berkeley and Hume. New York: Doubleday, 1974. 

3. Moral Philosophy

- Read:
McInerny, pp. 482-709 (selections will be made)
Pegis, pp. 429-650 (selections will be made)

- Supplementary Sources:

Aquinas. Commentary on the Nicomachean Ethics. Trans. C.I. Litzinger. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1964.

Aristotle. Ethic. In The Basic Works of Aristotle. Ed. R. McKeon. New York: Random House, 1941.

Hobbes. Leviathan. London: Routeledge, 1886.

Locke. Second Treatise of Government. Indianapolis:: Hackett, 1980.

Machiavelli. The Prince and the Discourses. Trans. Max Lerner. New York: Modern Library, 1950.

MacIntryre, A. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981.

McIntye, R. Aquinas on Human Action. Washington, D.C.: The University of America Press, 1992.

Oesterle, John. Ethics: Introduction to Moral Science. N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1957.

Plato. The Collected Dialogues of Plato. Ed. E. Hamilton. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1978.

Peiper, Josef. The Four Cardinal Virtues. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. On the Social Contract, Discourses on the Origin of Inequality, and Discourse of Political Economy. Indiana: Hackett Publishing, 1983.

Simon, Yves. Definition of Moral Virtue. New York: Fordham University Press, 1986.

Strauss, L. Natural Right and History. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1953.

 4. Metaphysics and Philosophical Theology

- Read:
McInerny, pp. 243-256; pp. 290-409 (selections will be made)
Pegis, pp. 20-279 (selections will be made)

- Supplementary Sources:

Aquinas. Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle. Trans. J.P. Rowan. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1961.

Aquinas. The Division and Methods of the Sciences. Trans. A. Maurer. Toronto: The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1963.

Aristotle. Metaphysics. In The Basic Works of Aristotle. Ed. R. Mckeon. New York: Random House, 1941.

Descartes. Philosophical Works of Descartes. Trans. E.S. Haldane. New York: Dover, 1931.

Dodds, Michael. The Unchanging God of Love: Teach of St. Thomas Aquinas on the Divine Immutability. Fribourg: Editions Universitaires, 1986.

Hick, J., ed. The Existence of God. New York: Mcmillian Publishing, 1964.

Maritain, J. Approaches to God. Trans. P. O’Reilly. New York: The Macmillian Company, 1967. 


Careful consideration will be given to your ability to write in a coherent and sustained manner. Make sure each essay is clearly written, employs proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and provides support for any assertions made. Clarity, consistency, and persuasiveness are the criteria used in my evaluation of your essays. ON THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES, A PRESENTATION WILL BE GIVEN ON HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY.

Essays should be handed to Dr. Fox on the due date at the beginning of class. For a serious reason, a student may approach Dr. Fox before the due date, and may be granted an extension at Dr. Fox’s discretion. If Dr. Fox decides that documentation is required for either medical or non-medical academic accommodation, then such documentation must be submitted by the student directly to the appropriate Faculty Dean’s Office. It will be the Dean’s Office that will determine if accommodation is warranted.

Never submit your essays by campus mail. Never submit your essays by e-mail. You should make a photocopy of your essays. Essays that are late without permission will be penalized 10% each calendar day. PLEASE NOTE: ESSAYS ARE RECORDED AS HAVING BEEN RECEIVED ON THE DAY THEY REACH DR. FOX’S HANDS.


Exams are based on assigned readings, classroom lectures and classroom discussions. It is, therefore, indispensable to attend all classes.

A student who misses an exam for a serious reason may approach Dr. Fox, and may be granted a make-up exam or a re-weighting of the term grade at Dr. Fox’s discretion. If Dr. Fox decides that documentation is required for either medical or non-medical academic accommodation, then such documentation must be submitted by the student directly to the appropriate Faculty Dean’s Office. It will be the Dean’s Office that will determine if accommodation is warranted.

No electronic devices will be allowed during examinations, unless approved by Student Services at the University of King’s. 

Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness

Please see:

Course Prerequisites and Antirequisites

“Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you will be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.” Senate Policy


“Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence.” Please refer to Scholastic Discipline under the Senate Policy on Academic rights and Responsibilities at

“All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and (link to website:”