Philosophy 1080    Medieval Philosophy {Meets MW 3.00-4.15 in 318 C L}
 Thomas Aquinas

Instructor:    Gerald J. Massey, Ph.D., Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy
                            1009F Cathedral of Learning;   Tel:  624-0392   e-mail:
                             Office Hours:   MW 1.00-2.30 in 1009F Cathedral of Learning & by appointment

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles; Book One: God, U. of Notre Dame Press
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles; Book Two: Creation, U. of Notre Dame Press
       {These are relatively inexpensive paperback editions}

*Study Guides: Study Guide for Book One
                                        Book Two

Additional Materials
Summa Theologiae, Part One, Question Two

Quiz and Examination Questions:

Normal Course Requirements:
There will be two announced 75-minute quizzes.  Quiz questions will be drawn from a list of questions distributed at least one week in advance.
     A 6-10 page paper on an approved topic will be due at 3.00 p.m. on April 17.
     There will be a two-hour final examination during the final examination period.
Each student will receive three numerical grades (a), (b), and (c) as follows:
     (a) The Quiz Grade (which is the average of the grades on the two 75-minute quizzes)
     (b) The Paper Grade
     (c) The Final Examination Grade
The numerical Course Grade will be the average of two grades, namely, the Paper Grade (b) and the better of (a) and (c).  For example, if the Paper Grade were 86, the Quiz Grade 94, and the Final Exam Grade 88, the numerical Course grade would be 90, i.e., the average of 86 and 94 (since 94 is a better grade than 88).
Numerical grades will be converted into letter grades by means of the table below.  Thus, in the example, the student would receive a letter grade of A-, which is the letter grade equivalent of the numerical grade 90.
The Instructor reserves the right to increase the course grade by as many as 10 numerical points in cases where students have made exceptional contributions.

Table for converting Numerical Grades into Letter Grades:
            [Fractions will be rounded to the nearest whole number]
97-100  =  A+  87-89  =  B+   77-79  =  C+  67-69  =  D+   < 60  =  F
93-96   =   A 83-86  =  B-  73-76  =  C  63-66  =  D
90-92   =   A 80-82  =  B-   70-72  =  C-   60-62  =  D-

Academic Integrity:
Absolute academic integrity is expected of all students.  Anyone who cheats on a quiz or examination will receive a failing Course Grade.  Similarly, anyone who submits a paper that exhibits plagiarism will receive a failing Course Grade.  Any students who are uncertain about what counts as cheating or plagiarism should ask the Instructor to explain these concepts to them.  Ignorance of applicable standards of academic integrity will not be admitted as a defense.  (The Instructor has a reputation for being sympathetic to students -- except when they violate the canons of academic integrity.)

Quiz and Examination Questions:
The questions that appear on quizzes and the final examination will be drawn from lists of questions distributed (electronically) in advance of any given quiz or examination.

Electronic Distribution of Course Materials:
From time to time, such course materials as lists of possible quiz questions, lists of possible final exam questions, paper topics, and installments of the Study Guide will be distributed electronically.  Students can download materials by accessing the following electronic address and then going to the relevant materials:      ~gmas   (Full address to be given out in lecture early in term.)  Students who do not have easy access to the Internet should make arrangements to acquire hard copies of course materials through the Instructor.

*Study Guide:
The Instructor will prepare a Study Guide, which is designed to help the student understand the writings of Thomas Aquinas, and to get the most out of them.  Installments of the Study Guide will be distributed electronically from time to time.  Students are urged to refer frequently to this Study Guide when they are reading the course textbooks.

A Word or Two about Philosophy and Philosophical Texts:
Philosophical texts cannot be read and understood like novels or short stories.  They must be worked through slowly, carefully, and reflectively.  In many respects philosophical writings resemble sophisticated legal documents such as Supreme Court opinions.  It is, therefore, no accident that many leading attorneys and judges (e.g., the late Louis Nizer and Judge Learned Hand) have had substantial philosophical training, and that many leading jurists recommend the study of philosophy as an ideal preparation for the law.
One skill you should take away from this course is an enhanced ability to read a text closely, to grasp the concepts employed or introduced, to recognize presuppositions and assumptions, to identify and evaluate the reasoning, to weigh the evidence for and against positions taken, and to ferret out implications of claims or assertions.  These quintessentially philosophical skills are of incalculable value in virtually all walks of life, but especially in such professions as law, medicine, science, and education. (See Manual for Courts-Martial.)

Special Course Requirements:
Students who have a good case for alternative course requirements should meet early in the term with the Instructor who will listen sympathetically to their oral or written arguments.  No reasonable alternative will be turned down.