The Philosophy Curriculum at Wyoming Catholic College comprises six courses and a total of 18 credit hours of material over the four-year curriculum.
Far from matching its common caricature as a meaningless consideration of abstract academic speculations, genuine philosophy touches the very core of human experience, dealing with questions and themes central to every life: Is there a God? Which is at the ultimate root of reality, reason or blind chance? Is death the end or is the soul immortal? What is the good life, and what is happiness? How should political institutions be structured so as best to promote human flourishing?
The importance of these questions, and of the habits of mind by which we investigate them well, explains why not just great philosophers but also great statesmen of the past, such as the American Founding Fathers, were educated so thoroughly in philosophical dialectic, in the Platonic and Aristotelian/Scholastic traditions of rigorous logic and subtle distinction-making. Unmoored from a sound worldview and outlook on the most fundamental questions, the search for solutions to the world’s problems—hunger, violence, oppression, disease—risks becoming fruitless and, at the hands of shallow and nihilistic philosophy, even pointless.
Wyoming Catholic College thus offers a traditional Philosophy curriculum which has as its goal “the search for ultimate truth,” the modern world’s neglect of which was lamented by Saint John Paul II in his encyclical Fides et Ratio (§5), in which he explored the themes of faith and reason and the discipline of philosophy in man’s journey. To succeed in this search, it is important to study the proper subjects in their proper order: logic, the philosophy of nature, the philosophy of man, ethics, politics, and metaphysics.
The Philosophy curriculum does more than survey divergent viewpoints that have been expressed over the centuries. It carefully examines and reflects upon our common human experiences, recognizing that it is through dialectic and demonstration that universal principles may be intuited and true conclusions about reality can be reached. The primary author in the sequence is Aristotle, whom St. Thomas Aquinas simply referred to as “the Philosopher,” Dante as “the master of those who know,” and Blessed John Henry Newman as “the great Master.” In the final semester, the perennial philosophy is set alongside seminal works of modern philosophers, both to assess their deficiencies and to appreciate the new insights they bring.
The Philosophy sequence at Wyoming Catholic College includes the following courses: