Thomas Aquinas: Soul and Intellect (Fall 2012)

Prof. Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University, Milwaukee

Prof. Andrea Robiglio, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Prof. Luis X. López-Farjeat, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City

 

Thomas Aquinas: Soul and Intellect (Fall 2012)

Prof. Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University, Milwaukee

(email: Richard.Taylor@Marquette.edu)

Prof. Luis X. López-Farjeat, Universidad Panamericana, Mexico City

(email: llopez@up.edu.mx)

Prof. Andrea Robligio, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

(email: Andrea.Robiglio@hiw.kuleuven.be)


Live Classroom Course Meeting Times

TBA Thursday 9:30-10:30 am U.S. & Mexico Central Time

Thursday 4:30-5:30 pm Leuven Time


Course Description


     The Arabic philosophical tradition played an important role in the formation of theological, philosophical and scientific thought in medieval Europe subsequent to the translations from Arabic into Latin in the 12th and 13th centuries. The influence of that Arabic classical rationalist tradition in works by al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes and the Liber de causis is evident in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, though the breadth and depth of that influence is often insufficiently noted and explained by scholars of Aquinas.


     This course focuses on the metaphysics, epistemology and psychology of Aquinas in the development of his philosophical conceptions of soul and intellect in the context of his use of sources in Aristotle and works by philosophers of the Arabic tradition, particularly Avicenna and Averroes. Readings are selected from writings from each of the four major periods of his career starting with his first major work, the Commentary on the Sentences.


     The course was planned to be taught at Marquette, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the Universidad Panamericana as a hybrid course. That is, it was taught using online tools and resources and also in the classroom with face-to-face meetings once per week. And it was taught at Marquette, KU Leuven and the Universidad Panamericana simultaneously. On Thursdays students met online with video and audio for questions and discussion with Profs. Taylor, Robiglio and López-Farjeat and the student groups in Milwaukee, Leuven and Mexico City live.


We made extensive use of the Marquette University D2L system which is similar to UP’s Moodle and KUL’s Toledo systems. All students were enrolled in D2L and must use that system.


GENERAL REQUIREMENTS


(A)  Each week one video of ca. 60 min. or two video lectures of ca. 25-30 min. on the assigned material was provided to students who are required to study these and the assigned readings. Students were also required to participate in on-line discussions on D2L.

Classes met “live” Thursdays at 9:30-10:30 Mexico City, Milwaukee / 16h30-17h30 Leuven, but students arrived 15 min. beforehand for local pre-discussion briefing before the “live” video discussion and planned to stay for 15 min after the discussion for local post-discussion debriefing. Class attendance was required, not optional.


(B) Teamwork at classes MU: 4,5,6;  UP: 7. 8. 9; KUL: 11, 12, 14.

Students at each location gathered into one of three groups for collaborative teamwork involving (i) the guidance of on-line discussions of the assigned videos and readings Thursday afternoon until Monday at midnight, and (ii) posting on D2L a three-page single spaced summary of the key teachings discussed on the video and in the readings, plus at least three (3) questions from the online discussion. Regarding (ii) note this: this was sent to Prof. Taylor (Richard.Taylor@Marquette.edu) and posted on D2L by noon Wednesday; also the group made a summary presentation with questions in no more than 7 minutes at the next “live” Thursday class meeting. These procedures were modeled by Prof. López-Farjeat and Prof. Robiglio in weeks (2) and (3) of the course. After that, student teams began these duties, starting with Marquette University, then Universidad Panamericana, and last Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.


     All texts were available in English translation with many available on the Web. Students were welcome to study the texts in Latin, Arabic, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, or any other language, but classroom discussions were all be in English. Each instructor took responsibility for placing relevant texts on reserve for student use on their own campuses.


Marquette Course Requirements, Grading, ARES and TURNITIN.COM:

  1. 1.Class met Thursdays at 9:15 - 10:45 in Memorial Library 320(h). Class attendance and participation in on-line and in class discussions were required, not optional.

  2. 2.One student team assignment as indicated in section (B) under General Requirements of the syllabus made up 25% of the course grade.

  3. 3.One professionally prepared course research paper of ca. 15-25 pp. (due 9 Dec. via email and D2L) makes up 50% of the course grade.

NOTE: Given the innovative character of this international course, Prof. Taylor was available for up to four (4) hours per week for students in this course to communicate in person, on Google+ Hangouts, on Skype, or via email. For office hours, see the Detailed Syllabus page of this website.

ARES Reserves access code: mistertea

TURNITIN.COM Class ID 5419804, Enrollment password: mistertea



Universidad Panamericana Course Requirements: forthcoming.


  1. 1.Class met Thursdays at 9:15 - 10:45 in Room 23. Class attendance and participation in on-line and in class discussions were required, not optional.

  2. 2.One student team assignment as indicated in (B) above will make up 25% of the course grade.

  3. 3.One professionally prepared course research paper of ca. 15 pp. (due 29 Nov. via email) made up 50% of the course grade. The paper was to be written in Spanish or English. 



Office Hours

Prof. Taylor: Tuesdays 9:15 am - 1 pm Milwaukee & Mexico City = 16h15-20h Leuven time and by appointment. International small group discussion on Google+ hangouts Tuesdays 12-1 = 19h-20h Leuven for up to 9 participants.

Appointments website: http://academic.mu.edu/taylorr/Theory_of_Ethics/Appointments.html


Prof. Robiglio, KUL: TBA


Prof. López-Farjeat: Universidad Panamericana, Facultad de Filosofía y Ciencias Sociales, Chancellor, 1st floor. Mondays 9:15 am – 1 pm Milwaukee & Mexico City = 16h15-20h Leuven time. Please ask for an appointment: llopez@up.edu.mx

For students in Mexico, Tuesdays 12:30-2:00; Fridays 9:00-11:00.