The Ralph McInerny Center for Thomistic Studies will offer a three-year program in philosophical studies that will provide a wide-ranging introduction to classical philosophy. This program will consist of six courses over three years (during the fall and spring semesters), each course consisting of 6 or 7 two-hour sessions, including lectures and time for discussion.

This program is intended for generally educated citizens who wish to develop a deeper grounding in philosophy. No previous formal study in philosophy is required. Our goal is to provide people with sound philosophical “tools” that will help them to evaluate and form judgments about problems and issues facing them and their fellow citizens, drawing especially on the ethics and metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas.

OUR FIRST COURSE will be an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. We will begin September 27, 2006 (Wednesday) from 7 to 9 p.m., at the McInerny Center office at 616 E Street, NW, Suite 1214. Short recommended readings will be provided online, along with suggestions for further reading. OUR SECOND COURSE will briefly survey the main periods in the history of philosophy, from Medieval to Early Modern until contemporary philosophy. And it will focus particularly on two absolutely uniquely great figures like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. OUR THIRD COURSE will deal with the basic principles in natural philosophy and logic as the needed background for the study more advanced areas, like metaphysics, in the FOURTH COURSE, and ethics and political theory in the FIFTH COURSE. Finally, in the SIXTH COURSE, we will end the program by addressing the public square and the current issue.

Classes will be taught by Fulvio Di Blasi (University of Palermo), Joshua Hochschild (Mt. St. Mary’s College), Ralph McInerny (University of Notre Dame), Dr. Michael Pakaluk (Clark University), Christopher Wolfe (Marquette University) and other Visiting Professors.

Cost of enrolling: $ 100.00 per course ($ 50.00 for students). Some tuition grants are available. To register, contact

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Philosophy Classes begin again next Wednesday

Dear Friends,

Three years ago the Ralph McInerny Center started its six-course Program in Philosophical Studies. So here we are, about to begin the final class! The class will be on "Philosophy in the Public Square: Debating Current Issues." The specific topics and dates are listed below (though one remains to be confirmed).

Like the last several classes, it will be held at the Family Research Council at 801 G St NW, and will be on alternate Wednesday evenings, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. There will also be an informal dinner ahead of time at Fuddruckers, right around the corner at 734 7th St NW. (There is also some discussion of a post-class retreat to a nearby watering hole . . .)

The course costs $100 ($50 for students). Scholarships are available for those who cannot afford this fee. (We don't want anyone to forego attending simply for financial reasons.) I hope you are able to join us. We encourage you to invite your friends. Look forward to seeing you on January 28.

Chris Wolfe

Spring 2009 RMC Program in Philosophical Studies Course:
“Philosophy in the
Public Square: Debating Current Issues”

-- Jan. 28: Law and Morality: What is the Legitimate Scope of Political Power Regarding Issues of “Personal Morality”? (Christopher Wolfe)

-- Feb. 11: The Moral and Political Status of Human Life in its Earliest (Embryonic and Pre-Embryonic) Stages (Joshua Hochschild)

-- Feb. 25: Environmental Stewardship and Agriculture: Ethical Principles for Relating to Non-Human Life (Joshua Hochschild)

-- Mar 11: The Death Penalty: Human Dignity and Capital Punishment (Michael Pakaluk)

-- Mar 25: The Family in Public Policy: Families Ideal and Actual, and What Should Government Do? (Pat Fagan)

-- Apr 15: Immigratration (Christopher Wolfe)

-- Apr 29: Homosexuality and Public Policy (Christopher Wolfe)

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