From Aristotle to Aquinas: Philosophy Ancient to Modern

Ref: C3741189

This course will give the student an overview of Western philosophy from the ancient through to the medieval period, whilst focusing in particular on two of the most important philosophers in the history of Western thought: Aristotle and Aquinas. We will begin with an overview of Aristotle's philosophy looking at his key texts in ethics, politics and metaphysics. Along the way we will compare his views with those of Plato and Socrates and examine some of their key areas of disagreement. We will then explore how Aquinas expanded on and developed Aristotle's philosophy and used his metaphysical schema in his famous 'five proofs for the existence of God.' Along the way we will consider the views of other notable philosophers during these time periods.

Course aim

To give the students an overview of Western philosophy from the ancient through to the medieval periods, focusing, in particular, on Aristotle and Aquinas.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Some knowledge of philosophical argumentation would be useful.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Clearly articulate and defend an argument (philosophical position).
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of philosophy from the ancient to medieval periods.
  • Articulate the theories of some of the major thinkers in western philosophy.
  • Apply these theories, where appropriate, to the real world.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • There will be weekly readings which you should complete before class. These will be fairly brief and will be optional but strongly encouraged.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • There will be a number of optional tasks for you to complete, which the course leader will mark, should you wish to test your progress.

What else do I need to know?

  • Yourself and a pen and paper.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Ben Dupr√©'s '50 philosophy ideas you really need to know' is worth reading either before or after the course as a general introduction to philosophy. More suggestions will be made during the course.

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

From Aristotle to Aquinas: Philosophy Ancient to Modern Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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