Loyola University Maryland

First-Year Programs

Self and Other Course Pairing

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Foundations of Philosophy: Justice and Community: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times (PL201.03S)

Is there really anything left to learn from thinkers of the ancient world?  It seems we know so much more today, even though we are clearly mired in the same problems in our individual lives, our relationships to others and our political societies. Scientific knowledge, though desperately important in the positive transformation of our human world, is still not yet wisdom. What is wisdom then? It seems to be a form of understanding that precedes scientific understanding, and that has long been forgotten or neglected-- at least in the political realm.

The prime focus of this course is the thinking of ancient Greece, considered to be the foundation of the Western philosophical tradition. But we will also read literature from the Eastern tradition, as well as contemporary literary works and current events articles.  Throughout the semester we will focus on questions that concern the relationship between the individual and her community, seeking to gain insight from ancient texts.  Large questions about justice, responsibility, obligation and freedom will orient our thinking as we explore the works of wise people long since dead: the sages of the ancient world. We will consistently aim both to enjoy the literature of the ancient world on its own merits, and to explore, analyze, and make those texts relevant to today’s social, political and epistemological and metaphysical concerns.

Faculty Biography

Catriona Hanley has made Baltimore her base for close to fifteen years, though frequent years and semesters abroad within that time have kept her always returning fresh to this endlessly surprising town. Between travels in her student days, she took degrees from McGill University in Montreal as well as the Université de Montrèal, and was granted the Ph.D. at Loyola University Chicago. She specializes in the history of philosophy, with special interest in Greek and 20th-century Continental philosophy (Aristotle and Heidegger are particular favorites). Strange as it may seem, there is little she likes more than discussing metaphysics and epistemology. Recent interest has led her to studies in the philosophy of peace, and philosophy of culture. As of this writing she is in Italy, but promises to come home in time for the fall semester.

Making of the Modern World:  Europe since 1500 (HS101.01S)

This course examines Europe’s role in shaping today’s world.  Topics will include exploration and colonization, government and politics, industrialism and urbanization, science and culture.

Faculty Biography

John R. (Jack) Breihan grew up in St. Louis and the Bronx, NY.  He was a very successful student, earning degrees in History from Princeton and Cambridge University in England.   He has taught at Loyola since 1977, at various times organizing and teaching in the Honors Program and writing across the curriculum.  He has twice served as Chair of the History Department and also two times as Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Mentor Biography

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.