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Teaching Philosophy in Slovakia

Teaching



Course Descriptions


Trnava University



Philosophy of Mind


Dualism: Descartes, physicalism, theory of identity, personal identity, free will, responsibility, the concept of the souls (immortality), the brain structure (neurons).



Philosophy of Consciousness


Chalmers: easy problems, hard problems; phenomenological consciousness, access consciousness. Person.



Selected Problems of the Philosophy of Christian Religion


Goal: Deeper analyses of the basic problems of Philosophical Theology related to the attributes of God and the arguments for his existence.
A Short DescriptionHow is a talk about God possible in human language? Omnipotence, omniscience, simplicity, and eternity of God. Validity of the most recent ontological, cosmological and theological arguments. The problem of Evil.
Time table:
1. Philosophical Theology in general.
2. Religious Faith and Reason. Limitations of human language.
3. The Attributes of God (Richard Swinburne). 4. Difficulties with omniscience and omnipotence.
5. Simplicity and eternity. 6. Ontological Arguments (Malcolm, Plantinga, objections). 
7. Alternative Justifications for the Existence of God. 8. Cosmological arguments. Kalam argument.
9. Teleological arguments. 10. The Problem of Evil. 11. Immortality.
12. Miracles. 13. Final Remarks.

Literature:
ROJKA, L.: Philosophical Teology. (In Slovak) Two Volumes.
CLARK, Beverly, CLARK, Brian R.: The Philosophy of Religion : A Critical Introduction. Cambridge : Polity Press, 1998, s. 13-20.
DAVIES, B.: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Tretie vydanie. DAVIES, B.: Philosophy of Religion: Guide end Anthology.
DAVIES, B., ed.: Philosophy of Religion. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000. 
LEIBNIZ: La Monadologie. OPPY, G.: Ontological arguments and Belief in God. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
PLANTINGA, A.: God and Other Minds. Ithaca? London : Cornell University Press, 1990. SWINBURNE, R.: The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God.


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Before 2012

Advanced Logic

Goal: Review the basic principles of symbolic logic. Improve skills of formalization, systematization and evaluation of philosophical arguments.

Literature:
ROJKA, L.: Symbolická logika. VOLEK, P.: Zaklady logiky a teorie vedy. (In Slovak)
BERGMANN, M.- MOOR, J.- NELSON, J.: The Logic Book. 3rd ed. BERGMANN, M.- MOOR, J.- NELSON, J.: The Logic Book. Solutions to Selected Exercises.

Timetable:

1.  Basic terminology. Symbols. Syntax.

2. Sentential logic. Truth-Value Assignments, Truth Tables. (Truth-Functional Indeterminacy, Consistency, Entailment, Validity, etc.)

3. Truth-Trees. Rules. Strategies. 4. Truth-Trees Test. (Truth-Functional Indeterminacy, Consistency, Entailment, Validity, etc.)
5. Derivations. Basic Concepts, Rules. 6. Strategies.
7. Mid-semester Test
.
8. Metatheory.
9. Predicate logic. Symbols. Syntax.
10. Semantics
. 11. Truth-Trees. Rules. Strategies.
12. Derivations. Basic Concepts, Rules. Metatheory.
13. Evaluation.

* * *

Introduction into Philosophy of Christian Religion

Goal: Introduction into basic problems of Philosophical Theology related to the attributes of God and the arguments for his existence.

A Short Description
:

Is a talk about God possible in human language? Who is God and how do we know that he exists? We will consider: Ontological arguments, Aquinas's five ways, D. Hume, Kant, P. Teilhard de Chardin, R. Swinburne. The problem of Evil. Miracles. Immortality.


Time table:

1. Philosophical Theology and other philosophical disciplines.
2. Religious Faith and Reason. Limitations of human language.
3. The Attributes of God (Tomas Aquinas, Bernard Lonergan SJ, Richard Swinburne).
4. The Existence of God. Objections. (Freud, Nietzsche, Kant). 5. Marechal
.
6. Ontological Arguments (Anzelm I, II, Leibniz, Descartes I, II, objections).
7. The Five Ways of Thomas Aquinas: First. Second. 8. Third. Fourth. Fifth. Overall evaluation of their Explantiory Power
.
9. Alternative Justifications for the Existence of God
.
10. P. Teilhard de Chardin and his way to God. 11. Kant's Moral Argument. R. Swinburne.
12. The Problem of Evil. J.L. Mackie
. 13. Final Remarks.


Literature:
ROJKA, L.: Philosophical Theology, 2010. AKVINAS, T.: Summa Theologica.
DAVIES, B., ed.: Philosophy of Religion. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000.

BOGLIOLO, A.: Teodícea. Rím :  SÚCM, 1974. SWINBURNE, R.: The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God.


* * *

Selected Problems of the Philosophy of Christian Religion

Goal: Deeper analyses of the basic problems of Philosophical Theology related to the attributes of God and the arguments for his existence.

A Short Description
:

How is a talk about God possible in human language? Omnipotence, omniscience, simplicity, and eternity of God. Validity of the most recent ontological, cosmological and theological arguments. The problem of Evil.


Time table:

1. Philosophical Theology in general.
2. Religious Faith and Reason. Limitations of human language.
3. The Attributes of God (Richard Swinburne). 4. Difficulties with omniscience and omnipotence.
5. Simplicity and eternity. 6. Ontological Arguments (Malcolm, Plantinga, objections).
7. Alternative Justifications for the Existence of God. 8. Cosmological arguments. Kalam argument.
9. Teleological arguments. 10. The Problem of Evil. 11. Immortality.
12. Miracles. 13. Final Remarks.


Literature:
ROJKA, L.: Philosophical Teology. (In Slovak) BOGLIOLO, A.: Teodícea. Rím :  SÚCM, 1974.

BYRNE, Peter: Kant on God. Burlington, V.T. : Ashgate, 2007.
CLARK, Beverly, CLARK, Brian R.: The Philosophy of Religion : A Critical Introduction. Cambridge : Polity Press, 1998, s. 13-20.
DAVIES, B.: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Tretie vydanie. DAVIES, B.: Philosophy of Religion: Guide end Anthology.
DAVIES, B., ed.: Philosophy of Religion. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000. EVERITT, N.: Kant’s discussion of ontological argument. In: Kant-Studien, vol 86, 1995, s. 385-405.
KANT, I.: Critique of the Pure Reason. HUME, D.: Dialogie concerning Natural Religion. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976.
LEIBNIZ: La Monadologie. OPPY, G.: Ontological arguments and Belief in God. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
PLANTINGA, A.: God and Other Minds. Ithaca? London : Cornell University Press, 1990. SWINBURNE, R.: The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God.
WOOD, A. W.: Kant’s Rational Theory. Ithaca: Correll University Press, 1978.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Philosophical Methodology


ROJKA, L.: Philosophical Methodology (In Slovak).

1. The basics of critical thinking
2. How to read a philosophical text
3. How to write a philosophical paper
4. How to comment a philosophical text
5. How to explain a philosophical text
6. Comment and explanation / excercise






Reading Seminars



The Eternity of God


Goal
: The goal of the seminar is to deepen our understanding of the problems related to the concept of God and different conceptions of time. We will pay close attention to the writings of Bernard Lonergan and Richard Swinburne.
Literature:
ROJKA, L.: The Eternity of God. Bratislava, 2005. LONERGAN, B.: Insight. SWINBURNE, R.: The Coherence of Theism, The Existence of God, Is There a God?, Epistemic Justification.

Timetable:
1. B. Lonergan: Preliminary epistemic clarifications. The gereric world-order. The existence and timelessness of God.
2. R. Swinburne: Epistemic justification. The arguments for the existence of God. The concept of God.
3. Knowledge and belief.
4. The Notion of Time. Philosophical Theories of Time.
5. The Eternity of God.

Evaluation:
Students fulfil the requirements of the seminar presenting a paper on a topic related to the concept of God.

* * * * *


St. Augustine and Politics


Goal
: The goal of the seminar is to become familiar with the basic understanding of the relation between Christian ethics and politics in the writings of st. Augustine.
Literature:

DOODY, John – HUGHES, Kevin – PAFFENROTH, Kim (eds.): Augustine and Politics. Oxford : Lexington Books, 2005.
Suggested Reading
: Augustine: Confessions, Against the Academics, Concerning the City of God against the Pagans.

Timetable:
1. Human Nature and Virtue in Relation to Politics. Augustine’s Social Ontology. Friendship as Personal, Social, and Theological Virtue.
2. Augustine’s Theory and Critique of Politics. Political Action. The Glory and Tragedy of Politics.
3. Augustinian Influence and Perspectives. Augustinian Understanding of Politics. The State and the Market. Machiavelli’s City of God.


Students fulfil the requirements of the seminar presenting a 10 page paper on St. Augustine.




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