Loyola University Maryland


Self and Other Course Pairing

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Foundations of Philosophy: Justice and Community: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times (PL201S)

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.

How Do We Eat? How Should We Eat? (BL120S)

The development of agriculture was one of the great innovations in human history, allowing our species to expand to the current population size of over 7 billion; however, the change in our diet has had broad implications for our health, the health of others, and the health of the Earth.  In this course, we will investigate the science and issues involved in our food choices.  Topics include evolutionary changes in the human diet; food and the environment; nutrition; the impact of diet on human health; and, social justice issues related to food production and accessibility.

Faculty Biography

Professor Elissa Derrickson received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Pennsylvania where she became interested in mammalian physiology from an evolutionary perspective.  Her most recent research has focused on understanding how small mammals respond to changes in dietary protein levels.  Some of her proudest accomplishments at Loyola include receiving the Harry W. Rodgers Distinguished Teacher of the Year award, the Bene Merenti medal for 25 years (!) of service, and serving as chair of the Faculty Senate for six years.

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.