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McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies


FIFTH Course - FALL 2008




7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, at the Family Research Council Building, 801 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.


Is There Life Beyond Politics?: Find out this Fall

Please help spread the word for this Fall's McInerny Center seminar on Philosophy, Politics & Morality.

Life in D.C. is the Crossroads of Philosophy, Politics and Morality

September 17 and 24, October 8, 22, and 29, November 12, December 3, 2008

Does just one thing make us happy?

What is ‘virtue ethics,' and why should it be revived?

Does law have a foundation outside itself?

Are we ‘social animals,' or free and autonomous?

Could there perhaps be only one kind of ‘true' family?

Is there life after politics?

Classes are led by a world-class faculty:

Dr. Fulvio di Blasi
Pontifical University

Dr. Joshua Hochschild
Mount St. Mary's University

Dr. Michael Pakaluk
Clark University

Dr. Christopher Wolfe
Marquette University

The Ralph McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies
A project of Thomas International


For information or to register: rmcindc@gmail.com


The first class will be held on September 17th at the Family Research Council from 7-9 p.m. FRC is located at 801 G Street, N.W., across from the Gallery Place Metro stop. Our lecturer will be Professor Joshua Hochschild of Mount Saint Mary's and the topic will be “Moral Philosophy: The Human Good; Man's Ultimate End; The Structure of the Human Act.”

Classmates will meet for a quick dinner before each class at 6 p.m. at Fuddruckers, which is located around the corner at 734 7th Street, N.W. We will then walk over to the class together at 6:45 p.m. If you cannot make dinner, please plan on showing up at FRC a few minutes before the 7 p.m. start time so that you can get settled before class begins.

As far as enrolling, just show up to the first or second class and there will be a sign-up sheet at those classes provided by one of our professors.

Checks should be made out to the “Ralph McInerny Center” and can be given directly to our professors at the end of the first or second class. The classes for the Fall are $100 for the entire “semester” for non-students. For students, the tuition is $50. As far as the scholarships are concerned, there is no paperwork to fill out for a scholarship. I have been told that no one will be turned away because of cost, but if you can pay $25-$50, the Center would appreciate that. If you cannot afford to pay that amount, that is ok, as long as you are actively participating in the classes.

Class attendance at all lectures is not mandatory, so if you can't make the first class, don't worry. Just show up to the second class. Similarly, if you have to miss a later class, that's ok. Just plan on attending the next one. Obviously you'll get more out of it if you attend regularly, but the classes are not mandatory.

Yes, there is a “suggested” reading list, which means just that—it's suggested and you are not expected to read before each class. Reading the materials will obviously enhance your participation and understanding. No one will be “called on” in class. Most of the books can easily be purchased from www.amazon.com or picked up at your local bookstore.


Class Schedule and Recommended Readings for “Moral and Political Philosophy”

Sept 17
Moral Philosophy: The Human Good; Man's Ultimate End; The Structure of the Human Act
Taught by Joshua Hochschild
Readings: Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. 1, chs. 1-8; Ralph McInerny, Ethica Thomistica (chapters 1-4); Jay Budziszewski, What We Can't Not Know

Sept 24
Moral Philosophy: Freedom and Conscience; Habits; Virtues; Pleasure
Taught by Michael Pakaluk
Readings: Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. 2, chs. 1-7; Veritatis Splendor, ch. 2

Oct 8
Moral Philosophy: Natural Law; the New Natural Law debate; Utilitarianism and Kantianism
Taught by TBA
Readings: Nicomachean Ethics, Bk. 5, chs. 1-9; Summa Theologiae, I-II, qq. 90-97, 100; McInerny, Ethica Thomistica (chapters 3-7); for a somewhat different view of natural law, see John Finnis Fundamentals of Ethics or the first chapter of Robert George's Making Men Moral

Oct 22
Political Philosophy: The Common Good; Authority, Law, Rights; Various Forms of Govt
Taught by Christopher Wolfe
Readings: Aristotle, Politics, Bk. 1; Yves Simon, A General Theory of Authority (or the first chapter of his The Philosophy of Democratic Government)

Oct 29
Political Philosophy: Solidarity and Subsidiarity; Human Dignity and Life, Religious Liberty, Education
Taught by Joshua Hochschild
Readings: Rerum Novarum; Centissimus Annus; Evangelium Vitae; Dignitatis Humanae (Vatican II's Declaration on Religious Liberty); Christopher Wolfe Natural Law Liberalism, chapter 10 (on religious liberty); Aristotle's Politics, Book VIII (on education)

Nov 12
Political Philosophy: Family; Economics, Property, and Work; Foreign Affairs and War
Taught by TBA
Readings: Politics, Book 1; Laborem Exercens, Centissimus Annus; Catholic Encyclopedia on Just War theory: http://home.newadvent.org/cathen/15546c.htm

Dec 3
Ethics and Politics: Law and Mores: How Regimes Shape People
Taught by Christopher Wolfe
Readings: Martin Diamond, “Ethics and Politics: The American Way” (in Robert Horwitz, ed. The Moral Foundations of the American Republic)


If you have any other questions, please email to Peter.Redpath@fed-soc.org. Feel free to spread the word to your friends and see you nex t Wednesday!



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