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The Good Life Course Pairing

Foundations of Philosophy (PL 201D)

A one semester introduction to philosophy. Three focal points are covered: the emergence and development of rational theories on the nature of reality (metaphysics); questions concerning the grounds for distinguishing between knowledge and opinion (epistemology); and the nature and status of values (ethical, aesthetic, religious, etc.). Special attention is paid to the origins of philosophy and its historical beginnings in the ancient world.

Faculty biography

Dr. Catriona Hanley - Bio coming soon!

The Good Life: Writing Toward Happiness (WR 100)

This course will use the genre of the essay to explore how individuals and groups create definitions of happiness based upon values, beliefs, cultural backgrounds, societal influences, and more. We will consider how authors, artists, philosophers, and religious figures have framed our ideas of happiness, success, and fulfillment as well as influenced our pursuit of these ideas. Students will analyze historic and contemporary definitions of happiness as well as develop their own working definition over the course of the semester. All coursework will be geared toward learning how to articulate and refine our ideas through the processes of writing and research. By examining happiness at a global, local, and personal level, we can begin to better understand ourselves and bring that understanding to the forefront of our consciousness.

Faculty biography

Professor Laurence Ross is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Writing Department and teaches Creative Nonfiction for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth during the summer months. He has published his art writing and essays in many journals and magazines, including The Georgia Review, Brevity, Bluestem, The Offending Adam, Hyperallergic, Pelican Bomb, and HuffPost. He is also a frequent contributor to BmoreArt, a Baltimore-based magazine that reflects the art and culture of Baltimore and the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region.

Mentor biography

Victoria Gue is the Director of Loyola's Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC). In this role, she advises undergraduate students regarding Loyola's degree requirements, policies, and procedures. She also works closely with the transfer student population, assisting with their transition into Loyola. Victoria has been a Messina mentor since 2015 and enjoys working with first-year students. She has a B.A. in English and journalism and a M.A. in Contemporary Communication from Notre Dame of Maryland University. When not at work, Victoria enjoys spending time with family and friends, sports (Go Yankees!), live music, and any and all dogs!


Virtual Advisor

PL 201 satisfies the Philosophy core requirement for all students. WR 100 satisfies the Composition core requirement for all students.