Philosophy 101: The Tools of Philosophy

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Philosophy 101: The Tools of Philosophy introduces students to the science of logic, the fundamental prerequisite to the study of philosophy. The chief part of the semester is devoted to the three acts of the intellect, apprehension, assertion, and deduction. Students consider the nature of the intellect's act in grasping concepts and naming them, and the distinction of univocal and equivocal speech that follows upon this, treating at some length the equivocity of being and its highest genera through a study of Aristotle's Categories. Next, the act of assertion or predication is considered, and then the formation and use of syllogisms and deductive reasoning. In the last part of the semester, students study the application of these concepts to the principles of demonstration and reasoning and to the pursuit of knowledge through the philosophical act.

Materials Used

  • Aristotle, Categories; On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, and Posterior Analytics
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, Introduction to Commentary on the Posterior Analytics
  • Plato, Alcibiades, Cratylus, Meno
  • Porphyry, Isagoge

Typically Taught By