Method of philosophizing (Pieper/Aquinas) and compare/contrast it with an alternative method (Kierkegaard, Descartes, or Hume)

Objective:  A clearly written reflection paper, 5-6 pages in length, which focuses on philosophical positions covered in this course.

 

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Topics: 

 

  • Topics listed on the syllabus schedule and/or discussed in class
  • OR, you may choose one method of philosophizing (Pieper/Aquinas) and compare/contrast it with an alternative method (Kierkegaard, Descartes, or Hume)

 

Some points of comparison/contrast you might want to consider:

 

  • Epistemology: Realism vs. Idealism; a priori knowledge vs. a posteriori knowledge; whether deduction/reasoning from ideas (Descartes) is superior/inferior to induction/reasoning from actual existence (Aquinas/Pieper)
  • The Role of the senses in the acquisition of knowledge: Descartes’ separation of sense knowledge from intellectual knowledge vs. Aristotle’s/Aquinas’s unification of sense knowledge with intellectual knowledge
  • Philosophy of Human Nature: Cartesian “dualism” vs. Aquinas’s “hylomorphism” (the unity of soul and body – “embodied spirit”)
  • Metaphysics: Compare/contrast the plausibility of Aquinas’ proofs for the immortality of the human soul with the plausibility of Aquinas’ proofs for the “spirituality” of the human soul
  • Alternate topics include any of the topics listed in the course syllabus (e.g., Pieper’s concept of Leisure and its relationship to human purpose/destiny, Aquinas’ theory of perfect happiness, Aquinas’ concept of acedia, Aquinas’ distinction between essence and existence, Kierkegaard’s discussion of the self and/or despair, Descartes’ proofs for God’s existence, Hume’s theory of knowledge, etc.)

 

  • Paper should be typed, double-spaced, and follow standard paragraph formatting (MLA or APA)
  • Block quotes more than two lines should be indented and single-spaced
  • All direct quotations and ideas which are not your own should be clearly and accurately cited
  • The first page should include a strong thesis statement and an informal outline that logically justifies the position taken in the thesis statement
  • The body of the paper should follow the plan proposed in the informal outline
  • The conclusion should summarize the points made in the body of the paper, and then make some final remarks
  • Consult the college handbook concerning plagiarism because plagiarized papers will receive an automatic zero(0)

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