MWF 10:30-11:20 am
Cross-listed with PHIL 275IX.
An introduction to the most important philosophers and philosophical themes of the ancient and medieval worlds, from the Pre-Socratics through William of Occam. The course focuses on Plato and Aristotle, and the reception of their thought by Jewish, Islamic and especially Christian thinkers such as Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Special attention will be paid to the connections between philosophical and theological thought on such issues as the relationship of faith and reason, the existence and nature of God, the nature of the Trinity, the problem of evil and the project of theodicy (defending the goodness and justice of God in the face of evil), God’s relationship to time and attendant considerations about foreknowledge, providence, predestination, and human free will, and so on. The course will also cover the ways in which different interpretations of Aristotle shaped the divergent theologies of the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western churches, and how the rejection of Aristotelianism in the late-mediaeval West set the stage for the emergence of Protestant theology. A mixture of primary and secondary sources will be used.