Truth, Love and Happiness: The Promises of Ancient Philosophy (PL201.04V)
Given voice through Plato’s writing, the philosophical visionary Socrates emphatically states, “I prefer nothing if it is not true.” He teaches us how he became an expert in the art of love and assures us that we too could be happy if we knew the true nature of the Good. But how do we access the truth? And how should we understand our pursuits of love and happiness? In this course we engage the claims made by Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, as well as those of Aquinas and St. Augustine, regarding three of the most sought after things in human life: truth, love and happiness. These thinkers challenge modern understandings of the natural world and our place in it, the purpose and possibilities of love and the real meaning of human happiness. Our study of Ancient philosophy may awaken a sense of dissatisfaction with ourselves as we stand and urge us to develop new visions of ourselves as knowers, lovers and pursuers of happiness.
Mavis Biss, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. She specializes in moral philosophy, with particular focus on Kant’s and Kantian ethics and conceptions of moral creativity. Her dissertation titled “Moral Imagination in an Ethics of Principle” was supported by a fellowship from the American Association of University Women and she has authored articles in History of Philosophy Quarterly, Hypatia and Philosophy Compass. She is currently working on the topic of moral self-perfection.
Prophet, Sage, Saint: The Visionary in a Theological Key (TH201.02V)
This course will explore the visionary through a theological lens. It will examine the biblical portraits of the prophet, the sage, and the savior found in the Old and New Testaments. It will also study the figure of the saint in Saint Augustine and Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.
Rev. John J. Conley, SJ holds the Knott Chair in Philosophy and Theology. He has received degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1973), Fordham University (M.A., 1975), Centre Sèvres (L.Th, 1983), and Université Catholique de Louvain (Ph.D., 1988). The author of many books and articles in philosophy, Father Conley is also a poet and a playwright.
Michael Puma was born and raised in Brooklyn and currently serves as the Co-Director of Messina. While at Loyola, Puma has taken part in several retreats and immersion trips including Road Trip, first year and senior retreat, UNITE, Spring Break Outreach and Encuentra El Salvador. He also served as president of Loyola's Phi Beta Kappa chapter and is a member of OUT Loyola - Loyola's LGBTQ group for faculty, staff and administrators. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Maryland, College Park.