Phil 453: Aquinas on the Cardinal Virtues


Decio 324/631-7327


Home page:

Purpose----Texts----Requirements---- Syllabus----Term Paper----Notes on the Prima Secundae----Notes on the Secundae Secundae-----Outline of the Treatise on Cardinal Virtues

Purpose of Course:

A part-lecture/part-discussion course for majors, the purpose of which is to provide the student with an opportunity to come to understand in some depth St. Thomas's general account of virtue and his detailed treatment of the four cardinal virtues. After perusing the Treatise on Virtue and certain other elements from the First Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologiae (the Prima Secundae), we will spend the bulk of the semester examining questions 47-170 of the Second Part of the Second Part (the Secunda Secundae).


The texts for the course are the Treatise on Virtue (Oesterle translation--Notre Dame Press) and questions 47-170 of the Secunda Secundae itself. Background material is available on my web site under Phil 406 and Phil 301.


Tentative Syllabus

I. Introduction

II. Treatise on Virtue in General

III. Treatise on Prudence

IV. Treatise on Justice

V. Treatise on Fortitude

VI. Treatise on Temperance

The Term Paper

The main project for this course is a 15-20 page paper which is to be submitted on or before the last class day; a 2-3 page proposal is due on or before April 9. In what follows I will try to give you some clear indication of what I am looking for in both the paper and the proposal.

I encourage you to try your ideas out on one another and I also encourage you to consult with me before the proposal deadline if you think it will be helpful--either after class or by making an appointment to see me at some other time.