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Friday, October 29, 2010

Introduction to Philosophy for Catholic Homeschoolers

Update:This live course has concluded and is currently as a recorded course through our Subscription Service. This is a great way to learn at your own pace when your schedule allows.To subscribe or learn more: Adult and High School Online Classes

Philosophy 101: Meet and Greet the Professor
(click to watch a free webinar with Dr. Rioux introducing you to this course)

Dr. Rioux originally taught this course for Homeschool Connections in the Fall of 2009. We received many complimentary emails from parents and students, as he is an excellent teacher and knows how to get his students to open up and contribute in class.

Dr. Rioux is the chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College as well as a homeschool father. He has a deep enthusiasm for philosophy and a real dedication to his students.

I am so glad to be able to offer this course once again ...

(click on title to register)

Class dates: Thursdays, March 17 to May 12, 2011 (no class on Holy Thursday)
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 3:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (2 pm, Central)
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Professor: Jean Rioux, Ph.D.
Prerequisite: None
Suggested grade level: 9th to 12th
High school credit: 2/3 semester
Fee: $160 for the entire 8-week course. Early Registration Discount of $20 off before November 1, 2010.

Course description: Aristotle famously said, "all men by nature desire to know". For over 2600 years philosophers have grappled with life's profound questions. Seeking answers, they left their conclusions behind, along with the arguments supporting them. In this course we will be studying some of the better-known philosophical arguments in light of the issues they have addressed. From the allegory of the cave to the 5 ways of St. Thomas Aquinas to Pascal's wager, these arguments can serve as a brief introduction to the life and work of philosophers to anyone who would like to discover more about the "examined life".

Course outline:
Class 1: Plato's "allegory of the cave"; The Republic
Class 2: Aristotle on happiness and moral virtue; Nicomachean Ethics
Class 3: St. Augustine on choosing evil; The Confessions
Class 4: St. Anselm of Canterbury's and René Descartes' "ontological" arguments; The Proslogion and the Meditations
Class 5: René Descartes on how I may know of my own existence; The Meditations
Class 6: Blaise Pascal on the "wager" argument; The Pensées
Class 7: St. Thomas Aquinas on the possibility of proving God's existence; The Summa Theologiae
Class 8: St. Thomas Aquinas' "five ways", from the Summa Theologiae

Course materials: Provided at no additional charge in the form of a pdf file. References to the readings made during the course will be to this version. Students are expected to read the short selections (2 pages avg.) carefully before each session.

Homework: Apart from the reading for an upcoming session, students are expected to respond to a few questions from the previous one. The questions will be made available following each session, and responses will be due before the start of the next session (or within the week following the final session). Homework will be graded by Dr. Rioux.

Professor's piography:
Dr. Rioux is a professor and chair of the philosophy department at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he has taught for twenty-five years. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College, he completed his graduate work in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, earning the M.A. in 1984 and the Ph.D. in 1990. Specializing in the thought of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Rioux has published textbooks in logic and natural philosophy, as well as articles on the philosophy of mathematics in the Thomist and the Aquinas Review. He came to Benedictine with a love for the study of primary texts, as well as a keen interest in what computers might bring to that study. His contributions to the philosophical life of Benedictine College range from Great Books Sequences in philosophy and theology to 3D software for students of logic. He and his wife, Maria, raise their nine children in a farmhouse in rural Kansas. They have been designing their own curricula and educating their children at home for over twenty years.

Equipment requirements:
Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.

Dr. Rioux will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.
Recordings of classes are provided to students within 24 hours and available for 6 months.
Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping services.

(click on title to register)

Please join us as Dr. Rioux takes us on a philosophical journey. Our professor has a special gift of bringing understanding and excitement to what some would say is too lofty a topic. Dr. Rioux's course will make you laugh and smile as well as help you really appreciate Plato, Augustine, and so many others. Enjoy and learn!

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