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PHIL303 - Medieval Philosophy

Course Details

Course Code: PHIL303 Course ID: 3537 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course considers the synthesis of Christianity with classical pagan philosophy achieved by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. What became of the ancients’ ideal of human knowledge in an age when philosophy became the “handmaid of theology"? What were the underpinnings of the “natural law” conception of moral and political philosophy? How did this medieval synthesis break down, on the scientific side with Galileo’s challenge to Aristotelian physics and astronomy, and on the moral and political side with Machiavelli’s portrayal of a Renaissance prince? (Note to Students: The course materials, assignments, learning outcomes, and expectations in this upper level undergraduate course assume that the student has completed all lower level general education and career planning coursework necessary to develop research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students who have not fulfilled all general education requirements through courses or awarded transfer credit should strongly consider completing these requirements prior to registering for this course. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)


Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session
08/26/19 - 01/31/20 02/03/20 - 03/29/20 Winter 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Learning Objectives

  1. Define key trends in the development of western thought.
  2. Write papers and conduct discussions that demonstrate critical thinking concerning the early western philosophers.
  3. Select and evaluate relevant primary sources, criticism, & research for the assigned papers.
  4. Use proper documentation for the assigned papers.

Evaluation Procedures

Discussion Board Posts

There will be a discussion question posted for each week’s reading. You are required to make a minimum of three posts each week to the discussion board for the relevant week. The first post should respond directly to the discussion question posed. The second post should be in response to another student’s post and should reflect a meaningful dialogue with that student (i.e., Rather than stating simply that you agree or do not agree with a given student’s post, please state in detail why). For this reason, the first post should be made as early in the week as possible, to give other students a chance to respond to it. A third post is also required.

First Paper

Due week four. MLA standards must be followed. Must be at least 3,600 words.

Second paper

Due week five. MLA standards must be followed. Must be at least 3,600 words.

NameGrade %
Forums 50.00 %
Introductions 5.56 %
Week 1 - Forum 1 5.56 %
Week 2 - Forum 2 5.56 %
Week 3 - Forum 3 5.56 %
Week 4 - Forum 4 5.56 %
Week 5 - Forum 5 5.56 %
Week 6 - Forum 6 5.56 %
Week 7 - Forum 7 5.56 %
Week 8 - Forum 8 5.56 %
Papers 50.00 %
Week 4 - Assignment One 25.00 %
Week 8 - Assignment Two 25.00 %

Marenbon, John. Early Medieval Philosophy (480-1150), an Introduction. London, GBR: Routledge, 1988.

Thom, Paul. Medieval Philosophy: Texts and Studies: Logic of the Trinity : Augustine to Ockham. Bronx, NY, USA: Fordham University Press, 2012.

Marenbon, John, ed. Routledge History of Philosophy: Medieval Philosophy, Volume 3. London, GBR: Routledge, 1998.

Cunningham, Stanley B. Reclaiming Moral Agency : The Moral Philosophy of Albert the Great. Washington, DC, USA: Catholic University of America Press, 2008.

Eardley, Peter S., and Still, Carl N. Aquinas: A Guide for the Perplexed. London, GB: Continuum, 2010. Ch. 5 & 6.

Saint Augustine. Confessions of St. Augustine. Auckland, NZL: The Floating Press, 2009.

Book Title:To find the library e-book(s) req'd for your course, please visit to locate the eReserve by course #.
Author: No Author Specified
Book Title:Against Academicians and the Teacher - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Author:St. Augustine
Unit Cost:$16.06

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.