Philosophy 201

PHIL 201: Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

Prerequisite: PHIL 114

Credit Hours: (3)

This course traces the development of Western philosophy from the end of the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and the beginnings of the modern world. Emphasis is placed on the philosophical systems of major figures such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.


Detailed Description of the Content of the Course

This course traces the development of Western Philosophy from the end of the Ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome through the Renaissance. Emphasis will be placed on the enduring contributions of past thinkers as well as on the development of human thought and culture. The primary focus of the course is on the dialogue between religion and philosophy during this period and the way in which religious ideas helped to shape the metaphysical, epistemological, and theological ideas of major philosophers. Texts have included:

  • Confessions of St. Augustine, by St. Augustine
  • On the Methods and Division of the Sciences, by St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Philosophy in the Middle Ages, ed. by Hyman and Walsh
  • A Cultural Introduction to Philosophy--From Antiquity to Descartes, by McDermott


Detailed Description of the Conduct of the Course

The course will combine the lecture and discussion formats.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students should:

1. Realize that a study of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy is built on the assumption that the goals involved in a study of Ancient Philosophy provide a foundation from which even those goals can be perfected.
2. Understand some of the contributions which philosophers of the Medieval and Renaissance period have made to Western thought in particular.
3. Be able to demonstrate some of the lasting effects of Medieval and Renaissance thought on Western culture and civilization.


Assessment Measures

The grade for the course will be based on in class exams, papers, reading quizzes, short in-class presentations, reflection essays and participation.


Other Course Information

This course is required of all Philosophy and Religious Studies Majors who wish to concentrate in philosophy.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

July 1991 None Charles D. Taylor
May 1994 None Kim J. Kipling
May 1995 Catalog entry revised Kim J. Kipling
January 27, 1997 Prerequisite change Approved by VPAA
April 17, 1998 Reviewed Kim Kipling
September 18, 2001 Reviewed Kim Kipling