The Catholic University of America

School of Philosophy

Officers of Instruction


Faculty

Rev. Kurt J.Pritzl, O.P., Ph.D.
Dean and Associate Professor
Rev. Jean De Groot,Ph.D.
Associate Dean and Associate Professor
Gregory T.Doolan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Jude P. Dougherty,, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus
Thérèse-Anne Druart, Ph.D.
Professor
Michael Gorman,Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Richard Hassing,,Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Tobias Hoffmann,Ph.D.
Associate Professor
V. Bradley Lewis,Ph.D.
Associate Professor
John C.McCarthy,Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Angela McKay,Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Rev. George McLean, O.M.I.,Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Virgil P. Nemoianu, Ph.D.
Professor
Timothy B.Noone, Ph.D.
Professor
Monsignor Robert Sokolowski, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy
Richard Velkley, Ph.D.
Professor
Matthias Vorwerk, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Rev. William A. Wallace, O.P., Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus
Kevin White, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Monsignor John F. Wippel, Ph.D.
Professor
Holger Zaborowski, D.Phil.
Assistant Professor

Associates of the Faculty

Sister Marian Brady, S.P., Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Alfred Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
Lecturer
Maria Miller, Ph.D.
Lecturer
Michael Pakaluk,, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professor
Gregory Reichberg, Ph.D.
Research Associate
Rev. David Thayer, S.S., Ph.D.
Lecturer
Rev. James Watkins, Ph.D.
Lecturer

History

Formally inaugurated in 1895, the School of Philosophy has accepted 399 doctoral dissertations on issues confronting every major philosophical discipline and every figure in the history of philosophy. The school continues this endeavor against the background of a broad consensus on the definitive importance of two perennial questions: What is the human good? What are the ultimate principles of being and knowledge? The awareness of these questions and the study of their possible answers constitute an end and an ethos in light of which the school chooses to concentrate on the careful reading of primary sources in the history of philosophy. The school is established as an ecclesiastical faculty and offers undergraduate programs leading to the ecclesiastical degree Bachelor of Philosophy as well as the civil degree Bachelor of Arts.

Mission

Specific to the Catholic intellectual tradition is an abiding concern for the relation between faith and reason, the intelligibility of nature, the reality of organic form or soul, the inquiry into causal hierarchies, and the possibility of an ethics and political philosophy based on rational insight into human nature. Accordingly, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas form a basic framework in relation to which Neoplatonism, the Islamic contribution, the ferment of late Scholasticism, the emergence of early modern philosophy and natural science, the attempts at synthesis of the natural and the human within German idealism, the impact of Nietzsche, and the analytical and phenomenological movements are studied.

Despite its richness and diversity, modern philosophy is paradoxically marked by an anti-;philosophical tendency. With notable exceptions, modern thought is characterized by skepticism concerning the very possibility of philosophy as the search for truth about ultimate principles and human good, and by inattention to the meaning of practical wisdom in non-philosophical life. Cultivation of an intellectual awareness adequate to this situation is a principal goal of the School of Philosophy.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants for admission to the School of Philosophy should obtain an application form from the Office of Admissions of the university or from the dean of the school. This must be properly filled in and returned to the Office of Admissions at least one month in advance of registration as indicated in the university calendar.

Each student must be registered for each semester in residence. No student will be permitted to register later than the last day of the registration period without special permission of the dean. Each student entering the university for the first time must be enrolled and registered on or before the first day of class.

Undergraduate

Students may be admitted to the School of Philosophy as freshmen or as upperclassmen. Upperclassmen who wish to declare a philosophy major or transfer into the school must have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA to be accepted. Transfer students must fulfill all the requirements of the School of Philosophy for courses in the major.

Credits earned in undergraduate courses in philosophy pursued at other institutions will be accepted for undergraduate degrees provided the courses are equal in quality and content to those offered in the School of Philosophy and provided the student has earned high grades in those courses.

Special Students

Special undergraduate students are admitted to such courses as they may select without the intention of going on for academic degrees. Before admission they must furnish satisfactory evidence of their fitness to follow these courses profitably.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Philosophy or Bachelor of Arts

  1. Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Philosophy degree in the School of Philosophy must successfully complete at least 120 semester hours of credit in undergraduate courses, including those taken during the freshman and sophomore years and those prescribed by the program in which they are enrolled. Two programs in the School of Philosophy are open to qualified students at the college level: (a) the program of concentration and (b) the prelaw program.
  2. Students in the School of Philosophy may choose a minor field of concentration in another school, e.g. arts and sciences, music. The minor comprises six courses. The student should consult with his or her adviser in philosophy to plan for including the minor field in coursework. For minors in departments of the School of Arts and Sciences, the student should consult the Advising Handbook of the School of Arts and Sciences to see what courses are required.
  3. In order to graduate, the student must have a cumulative average of at least 2.0 in coursework at The Catholic University of America.
  4. All courses taken to meet the requirements for a concentration in philosophy, including distribution requirements, must be passed with a grade of C or better. Students who fail to achieve a grade of C or better in a course required for a concentration in philosophy may repeat that course. Any course taken to fulfill requirements for the concentration, however, may only be repeated once.
  5. The comprehensive examination must be passed with at least a grade of C. The comprehensive examination grade will be recorded as a number grade on the student's permanent transcript.
  6. Students in the School of Philosophy should normally take at least 15 semester hours of coursework for credit each semester. They will be permitted to overelect one course in addition to the 15 semester hours only if they maintain at least a 3.0 average. Permission to overelect or to make changes in the program of studies must be obtained from the associate dean of the School of Philosophy.

Distribution Requirements for Students Entering the School as Freshmen or Sophomores

  1. Religion and Religious Education. Four courses.
  2. Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

    a.For those choosing the mathematics and natural sciences option, six courses: two in mathematics, if possible 121 and 122; either PHYS 215 or 205, CHEM 103 with 113, BIOL 103 or 105, and another physics, chemistry, or biology course at a higher level; or four courses in only one of these three sciences at or beyond the level specified above.

    b.For those choosing the language option, four courses: two in mathematics, if possible 121 and 122; and two in physics, chemistry, or biology, both in the same science and at or beyond the level specified above.

  3. Humanities. Four courses: a writing requirement, i.e., ENG 101 or ENG 105, and three courses to be chosen from the following fields: art, drama, English (above 105), Greek and Latin (above 104), literature in a modern language (above 100 level), or music.
  4. Social and Behavioral Sciences Two courses.
  5. Language.

    a. For all students: two courses at the intermediate level in an ancient or modern language;

    b. Additionally for those electing the language option: two courses in an ancient language if they are fulfilling the basic requirement with a modern language or two courses in a modern language if they are fulfilling the basic requirement with an ancient language.

Program of Concentration

The program of concentration consists of 14 philosophy courses for students enrolled in the School of Philosophy. If the student is enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences, where it is also possible to concentrate in philosophy, the program of concentration consists of 12 philosophy courses. Two courses (PHIL 557 and 558) bear graduate credit and may be applied to the fulfillment of course requirements for the M.A. or licentiate degree in philosophy if the total number of credits earned for the B.A. or Ph.B. degree is 126 or more.

A student in the program of concentration who fails to maintain an acceptable average, i.e., 3.0 in philosophy courses, may be dismissed from the program and may be required to relinquish any scholarship held.

The program of concentration within the School of Philosophy consists of the following elements:

PHIL Title
309 Theories of Ethics
313 Philosophy of Human Nature
329 Philosophy of Science
331 Philosophy of Knowledge
351 Introduction to Symbolic Logic
353 History of Ancient Philosophy
354 History of Medieval Philosophy
355 Metaphysics I
356 Metaphysics II
453 History of Modern Philosophy
454 Contemporary Philosophy
557 Senior Seminar I
558 Senior Seminar II

Students enrolled in the philosophy major in the School of Arts and Sciences take 12 courses to fulfill the major. The two courses omitted in their program are 313 and 329. One of these may still be selected by the arts and sciences major as the student's philosophy elective. See Program in Philosophy in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Prelaw Program of Concentration

This program is designed for students wishing to prepare for a career in law or related fields through a rigorous and comprehensive training in philosophy.

The prelaw program of concentration in philosophy consists of 14 philosophy courses if the student is enrolled in the School of Philosophy, and 12 philosophy courses if the student is enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences. Two courses (PHIL 557 and 558) bear graduate credit and may be applied to the fulfillment of course requirements for the M.A. or licentiate degree in philosophy if the total number of credits earned for the B.A. or Ph.B. degree is 126 or more.

A student in the prelaw program of concentration who fails to maintain an acceptable average, i.e., 3.0 in philosophy courses, may be dismissed from the program and may be required to relinquish any scholarship held.

The prelaw program in the School of Philosophy consists of the following elements:

PHIL Title
301 Reasoning and Argumentation
313 Philosophy of Human Nature
331 Philosophy of Knowledge
353 History of Ancient Philosophy
354 History of Medieval Philosophy
355 Metaphysics I
356 Metaphysics II
453 History of Modern Philosophy
454 Contemporary Philosophy
557 Senior Seminar I
558 Senior Seminar II
  Philosophy elective
In addition, two of the following:
332 Political Philosophy
333 Philosophy of Natural Right and Natural Law
403 Morality and Law

Distribution Requirements for Students Enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences

Students in the School of Arts and Sciences taking courses in philosophy must observe the following procedures:

1. PHIL 201 and 202 are prerequisites for all philosophy courses in the areas listed below and are required of all undergraduates enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences except participants in the University Honors Program.

2. In addition to PHIL 201 and 202, students in the School of Arts and Sciences who are pursuing a B.A. degree, in order to fulfill the four-course philosophy requirement, must elect one course from each of two areas:

a.Area I. Logic, Morality,and Action

b.Area II. Nature,Knowledge, and God.

The two required courses may not be from the same area. Students are free to elect additional courses from the two areas and any 500-level course, except 505, 557 and 558.

Required


PHIL 201 The Classical Mind: The Origin and Growth of Western Philosophy
PHIL 202 The Modern Mind:Philosophy from Descartes to the Present

Area I-Logic, Morality, and Action

PHIL 301 Reasoning and Argumentation
PHIL 303 Biomedical Ethics
PHIL 309 Theories of Ethics
PHIL 310 Philosophy of Art
PHIL 311 Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 332 Political Philosophy
PHIL 333 Philosophy of Natural Right and Natural Law
PHIL 351 Introduction to Symbolic Logic
PHIL 403 Morality and Law
PHIL 510 Freedom and The Human Person

Area II-Nature, Knowledge, and God

PHIL 305 Metaphysics
PHIL 308 Philosophy of God
PHIL 313 Philosophy of Human Nature
PHIL 315 Philosophy of Language
PHIL 317 Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 328 Philosophy of the Social Sciences
PHIL 329 Philosophy of Science
PHIL 331 Philosophy of Knowledge

Subconcentration or Minor Field for Students Enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences

The minor in philosophy consists of two courses in addition to the four-course distribution requirement. The two additional courses must be from different areas.

Honors

The Dean's List honors academic achievement following each fall and spring semester. To be eligible for the Dean's List in a given semester, a student in the School of Philosophy must complete at least 15 credits in that semester with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. None of the courses taken may be pass/fail or repeated courses.

Basselin Foundation

Advisory Committee President of the university, Provost of the university, Provincial,Society of St.Sulpice
Administrative Officer Rev.MelvinC.Blanchette,S.S., Rector,Theological College

In fulfillment of the will of Theodore Basselin, The Catholic University of America established a foundation in his name to provide fellowships in a special course of studies for diocesan seminarians preparing for the Catholic priesthood. Candidates for the fellowships must have completed two years of the liberal arts curriculum in a college/university or a college/university program under diocesan sponsorship; they must also have given evidence of superior performance in their studies. The Basselin Foundation fellowships carry such students through three years of intensive work in philosophy: two years on the undergraduate level and one year of postgraduate work. The undergraduate course of studies is the concentration program of the School of Philosophy. Students admitted under the Basselin fellowships must qualify for this program and maintain an acceptable average to retain their fellowships.

In the curriculum, first importance is given to those branches of philosophy most necessary as a preparation for the study of theology; stress is laid upon the courses in scholastic philosophy. The Basselin fellowship, as is stipulated in its charter, also requires its recipient to give special attention to public speaking in view of later pastoral responsibilities.

During the three years of study, full tuition, room, and board are provided to students accepted into the program. In addition to these academic and financial benefits, the students continue their preparation for the priesthood through participation in the life and programs of Theological College of The Catholic University of America. Although the Basselin students are part of the larger community, they receive attention in areas specific to their stage in priestly preparation.

In addition to the regular requirements for degrees cited above, Basselin students are required to take three courses in the area of public speaking. Two of these, taken usually in the junior year, are available in the School of Philosophy:

PHIL 374 Ritual, Language and Action (3)
PHIL 375 Liturgical Readings (3)

The third course is available in the offerings of the Department of Drama, if the student has not previously taken a speech or drama class.

Six-Year Joint Ph.B.-S.T.B. Program

The School of Philosophy offers in cooperation with the School of Theology and Religious Studies a joint Ph.B.-S.T.B. Program that is completed in six years. The program, designed specifically for the circumstances and needs of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, is open to all applicants.

This six-year joint Ph.B.-S.T.B. program is an integrated program of 64 three-credit courses leading to the two degrees. To complete this program in six years requires taking a total of four courses distributed in the first two summers of the program. The Ph.B. part of the program requires 40 courses for 120 credits distributed as follows: (1) 14 philosophy courses for the major; (2) 4 courses in Latin and 2 courses in Greek; (3) 2 courses in English composition and literature; (4) 2 courses in history; (5) 3 courses in math and the physical sciences; (6) 2 courses in the social sciences; (7) 2 elective courses in the humanities; (8) 3 open elective courses; (9) 6 courses in theology. The senior comprehensive examination is required. For details of the S.T.B. portion of the program, consult the School of Theology and Religious Studies.

Summer Sessions

The School of Philosophy operates in the Summer Sessions. Students in the Summer Sessions are subject to the same scholastic requirements as those of the academic year.