Foundations of Philosophy - The Examined Life (PL201)
Socrates, at his trial, turns to his fellow citizens and offers the following admonition: “it is the greatest good for man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others, for the unexamined life is not worth living” (Apology, 38a). Four things are revealed in Socrates’ words that should command our attention. First is the claim itself that an unexamined life is not worth living; it is not a life for human beings. Second is the claim that this is not a good among any number of goods . . . it is the greatest good. Third is the suggestion that this good is not to be pursued in solitude but in discourse, in conversation with others. Last, and perhaps most difficult to appreciate, is the reminder that philosophy is an activity, a way of being in the world. The course begins with Socrates, and Socrates will serve as a model to guide our conversation as we explore the question: What is the good life?
Jim Snow holds the title of Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. As an undergraduate he studied ancient Greek and philosophy. He went on to earn a M.A. degree in philosophy and Jewish studies, and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Temple University. He studied culinary arts at L’Acadamie de Cuisine where he also taught as a chef’s assistant. His published work is in the area of genocide; he frequently gives talks on philosophy and genocide in the U.S. and Europe.
Professor Snow is an avid motorcyclist. He and his wife Dale (also a member of the philosophy department) have toured much of the continental U.S. on an old Harley-Davidson and eight European countries on their Ducati. They make their home in Guilford, a five-minute walk from campus, where they foster and rehabilitate abandoned and damaged pit bulls for a rescue organization.
Mystery, Beauty, and the Brutality of Grace (TH201)
Theology asks big questions: is there a God? What might that God be like? What does it mean to be a human being? What is love? Truth? Goodness? How can I know what a good life is? This course is an introduction to Christian theology’s ways of exploring these questions through history, sacred texts, art, and imaginative literature.
Matthew Moser is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theology, arriving at Loyola in 2013. He grew up in the Baltimore area, but he received his Ph.D. in Religion from Baylor University deep in the heart of Texas. He has written on 20th century Theology, religious accounts of knowledge, and Ignatian spirituality. Most recently, he has developed a love for The Divine Comedy by Dante, and thinks it is one of the most important texts students should read and argue with during their time at Loyola. He and his wife Kaitlyn make their home just outside the city where they can often be found frequenting coffeeshops or out hiking in one of Maryland’s beautiful state parks.
Raven Williams has been with Loyola since September 2014 and is the Associate Director of ALANA Services. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from Eastern Michigan University and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Saginaw Valley State University. Raven has been working in higher education for years, and her areas of focus include student retention (particularly for underrepresented students), diversity and inclusion awareness, identity development, and cultural competency.