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Contact Information

Anthony Santamaria, Ph.D.
Chairperson
Professor of Philosophy
Director of General Education

Phone: (973) 290-4338
Email: asantamaria@cse.edu
Office: Annunciation Center - Room 315

Philosophy

Program Overview

Through attention to ultimate concerns, reflective thought, critical analysis, reading, and integration of knowledge from diverse fields, the Philosophy and Theology Program advances the mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth by offering distinct degree and non-degree opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These opportunities support the development of women and men who are skilled critical thinkers and responsible moral agents, and who will continue the quest for meaning, self-realization and fulfillment as social contributors.

In Philosophy, undergraduate students are introduced to the nature of philosophical thinking and to the perennial philosophical questions concerning the nature of reality and humanity's place in reality.

In Theology, both degree and non-degree graduate and undergraduate students encounter a community of learning nourished by belief in God the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier, by the treasury of human wisdom, and by respect for the dynamics of inquiry and action.

The Philosophy and Theology Program

  • Is committed to helping students acquire an understanding of truth and value that is supportive of their complete development as persons, to assisting them in obtaining knowledge of some of the core concepts and ideas which have served to shape human civilization, and to guiding students in their development of basic principles of reasoning and method.
  • Affirms that character development is crucial for excellence in any discipline, and especially to the pursuit of wisdom, which is focus of theological and philosophical study, and to inquiry as faith seeking understanding, as well as critical reflection on religious experience.
  • Seeks to provide students with developmentally appropriate opportunities for intellectual and moral growth, as well as for spiritual growth in keeping with the Catholic concern for the dignity of each human person.
  • Serves the College by providing a distinct disciplines and unique opportunities to formulate and examine a coherent worldview, and to integrate knowledge from diverse areas of study.
  • Prepares undergraduates for participation in professional philosophical activity and for future academic study, as well as potential careers in strategic consulting and law, as well as for participation in professional theological activity and for future academic study, and offers academic formation for individuals in ministry.
  • Is committed to the examination of core values of truth, justice, and reconciliation in light of the compatibility of Revelation and reason, as well as to interfaith dialogue, and to helping students better understand and live out their respective religious commitments and traditions in recognition that respect for human dignity extends to the support for religious freedom.

Outcomes

The Philosophy and Theology Program provides a variety of degree and non-degree opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, each with distinct learning outcomes; these opportunities include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology
  • Minor in Ethics Studies
  • Minor in Philosophy
  • Minor in Theology
  • M.A. in Theology
  • The Interdisciplinary Certificate in Ethics Studies
  • Graduate Certificates in Spirituality, Pastoral Care, and Catholic Studies
  • Undergraduate Ministry Certificates in Religious Education, Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Parish Life Ministries, Pastoral Administration, and Diaconal Ministry

Undergraduate students in Philosophy will:

  • Convey a competent grasp of the four core disciplines of philosophy: metaphysics, logic, epistemology, and ethics\moral philosophy.
  • Acquire knowledge of the History of Philosophy, its major contributors and movements; and they will develop a basic familiarity with resources in this area.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the nature of the human person, and theories about meaning of human existence

Undergraduate students in Theology will:

  • Identify the central Catholic Christian teachings and correlate these with the religious language, concepts, imagery and critical questions central to the Christian study of scripture, doctrine and morality. These will be assessed by course examinations.
  • Recognize the role of religious faith in the life of the human person and its impact on both humankind and other kind in the development of appropriate moral, intellectual and spiritual awareness through encounter with Catholic Christian teaching and praxis. These will be assessed by an evaluation of class participation, presentations and written reflections.
  • Demonstrate basic familiarity and appropriate use of scholarly and catechetical resources which will be assessed through the student's producing quality research papers and catechetical projects.
  • Recognize the major events and movements within Christianity and understand the importance of respect and dialogue between Catholic Christianity and other religious traditions and communities.

Ministry certificate students will:

  • Convey a basic understanding of Scripture and revelation, as well as skills in Scriptural literacy and interpretation.
  • Exhibit a fundamental knowledge of central theologies, including Christological and Trinitarian Theology, Theology of Church, Liturgical Theology, Theology of Ministry, Sacramental Theology, and Theology of the Human Person.
  • Demonstrate a coherent grasp of ethical theories, principles, and application, as well as an informed capacity for sound decision making and moral responsibility
  • Develop personal and pastoral awareness and skills, such as familiarity with ecumenical and inter-faith interactions, information literacy, organizational leadership, and life-cycle issues.
  • Articulate a vision of Catholic faith and demonstrate growth in understanding of self as a minister an adult person of faith and formation-driven activities and interactions.

Graduate Theology students will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the core areas of theology, inclusive of Christian thought and praxis by being able to:

  • Situate and appraise the doctrinal, spiritual and ethical developments in theology, including Catholic Social Teaching, ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue, as evidenced through the Comprehensive Assessment Process.
  • Read and assess scholarly texts by being able to identify the author's project and thesis, relevant arguments and correlate these with the factors important to various contexts.
  • Recognize and classify differences in theological thought and apply the methodology appropriate to each of the major areas of theology as specified on syllabi.
  • Construct a theological essay bringing research to written expression in a coherent, analytical fashion.

The Ethics Studies Minor and Certificate is an interdisciplinary and multifaceted program of study providing integrated and substantive training in ethics, meta-ethics, moral philosophy, and moral theology. The program includes the examination of both moral theory and application.

In conjunction with the DePaul Center for Mission and Ministry, the Program provides certificate programs for those interested in preparing for various church ministries. To meet the needs of the students, we offer classes on campus, at off-site locations in New Jersey, and totally online. These programs are designed for those currently serving in parish ministry roles, those wanting to prepare for ministry roles, and those wishing to come for their own personal growth and development. Certificate programs include pastoral internship and formation components. The certificate credits may be transferred into other programs of study leading to baccalaureate degrees.

Graduates

The Program also offers those who are not pursuing philosophy or theology degrees or certificates an introduction to reasoned thought and theological concepts.

Students completing the degree in philosophy or theology are equipped with the background to succeed in advanced educational pursuits, and professional careers.

If a student is preparing for Church ministries, such as Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, Faith Formation, and Pastoral Administration, the Theology major provides the theological foundations for active involvement in Church life, both professional and otherwise.

In addition, the emphasis on rigorous and creative thinking in Philosophy or Theology will enable one to enter higher level training in a variety of professional fields, including:

  • Higher Education
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Philosophical or Theological research and writing

Graduates from the Philosophy and Theology Program have gone on to become:

  • Chaplains
  • Directors of women's rights organizations
  • Editors
  • Lawyers
  • Pastoral ministers
  • Physicians
  • Religious education coordinators
  • Researchers
  • Strategic consultants
  • Teachers
  • Youth ministers

More than half of CSE philosophy and theology graduates go on to receive graduate degrees.

Requirements

Minor in Philosophy

  • PHIL--- Any History of Philosophy course (4)
  • PHIL--- 300 or 400-level Elective (4)
  • PHIL--- 300 or 400-level Elective (4)
  • PHIL--- Elective (4)
  • PHIL--- Elective (4)

Total: 20 credits

Minor in Ethics Studies

Any combination of four courses from the following list, at least two of which are Philosophy courses, and at least two of which are Theology courses:

  • PHIL204/304** Morality and the Good Life
  • PHIL233/333** Ethics in Business and Society
  • PHIL331 Ethics in Healthcare
  • THEO135 Ecology and Faith
  • THEO250 Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • THEO2-- Ethics and Spirituality
  • THEO200 Bioethics
  • THEO239 Christian Sexual Ethics

Plus the following interdisciplinary Philosophy & Theology Course:

  • THEO385 Ethics and Justice

Total: 20 credtis

**Courses designated with two numbers are available to Philosophy majors and minors for more advanced work (i.e. 300 level).

Certificate in Ethics Studies

Any combination of four courses from the following list, at least two of which are Philosophy courses, and at least two of which are Theology courses:

  • PHIL204/304** Morality and the Good Life
  • PHIL233/333** Ethics in Business and Society
  • PHIL331 Ethics in Healthcare
  • THEO135 Ecology and Faith
  • THEO250 Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • THEO2-- Ethics and Spirituality
  • THEO200 Bioethics
  • THEO239 Christian Sexual Ethics

Plus the following interdisciplinary Philosophy & Theology Course:

  • THEO385 Ethics and Justice

Total: 20 credits

**Courses designated with two numbers are available to Philosophy majors and minors for more advanced work (i.e. 300 level).

Graduate Certificate in Catholic Studies

The certificate consists of 15 graduate credits and is intended for students who wish to learn more about the rich spiritual and intellectual tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. The certificate may be taken alone or in combination with the M.A. in Theology program.

  • THEO603 History of Christianity (3)
  • PHIL631 Catholic Intellectual Tradition (Phil.) (3)
  • THEO627 Catholic Moral Theology (3)
  • THEO609 Scriptural Interpretation (3)

Ecclesiology (Choose one)

  • THEO615 Mystery of Church (3), or
  • THEO656 Church in an Age of Plurality (3)

Course Listing

Course Level: 1

PHIL-101
Introduction to Philosophy*
Credit Hours: 4

An introduction to the nature of philosophical thinking through an investigation of some of the basic philosophical questions about the nature of human existence, reality, and values. A study will be made of some significant texts from major philosophers. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-103
Logic & Rhetoric*
Credit Hours: 4

This course deals with the relationship between logic (the theory of valid inference), reasoning (the patterns of argumentation that occur in everyday experience), and persuasion (the methods of producing belief or agreement). It teaches the student how to think critically and to recognize the devices and ploys used in persuasive argument. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-105
Philosophers Look at God*
Credit Hours: 4

An exploration of what some great philosophers throughout the ages have said pro and con about the existence of God and His nature. Selection may be made from such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Leibniz, Pascal, and some Existentialists. Their position on these questions will be examined together with the view of reality underlying the position. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-111
Philosophy of Art*
Credit Hours: 4

A study of some of the major philosophical theories on the nature of art and beauty. This course also serves as an elective for Art majors and minors. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

Course Level: 2

PHIL-201
Philosophy of Religion*
Credit Hours: 4

A study of the philosophical foundations of religious belief, both generically, and then more specifically in the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The course includes a survey and analysis of concepts such as religion itself, faith, God, evil, experience, miracles, and life after death. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-203
The Human Person*
Credit Hours: 4

Some traditional and contemporary philosophical questions about the nature of human existence, activities, and destiny, especially knowledge, freedom, unity, and immortality. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-204
Morality& Good Life*
Credit Hours: 4

An exploration of moral philosophy, especially the topics of what it means to live a good life and be a good person. The primary focus will be an investigation of the virtue ethics theory of Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas, as well as an investigation of diverse problems confronting the pursuit of moral science. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-205
Survey of the History of Philosophy*
Credit Hours: 4

A general introduction to philosophers in successive ages, through class discussion and reading primary sources. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-207
Selected Existentialist Philosophers*
Credit Hours: 4

A presentation and analysis of the central themes of Existentialist Philosophy, by reading and discussion of such major existentialists as Kiekegaard, Nietzsche, Jaspers, Heidegger, Marcel, Sartre, and Camus. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-211
Philosophy in Literature*
Credit Hours: 4

An investigation of metaphysical and epistemological assumptions in literature, first in their explicit statement in some classical works of philosophy, and then as conveyed by means of the structural devices of plot, character, and dialogue in drama, poetry, fiction, and biography. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-213
American Philosophy*
Credit Hours: 4

A study of the basic themes and major movements in American philosophy. This may include selected readings in the philosophy of Royce, Peirce, James, Dewey, and Whitehead. This course is required for American Studies majors. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-215
Philosophy in Film*
Credit Hours: 4

Complementing PHIL 211, Philosophy in Literature, this course will focus primarily on a study of the nature of film, and how philosophical ideas have both influenced and been expressed within film. Following a discussion of film theory, and film as art, particular attention will be placed on the metaphysical, ethical, and epistemological themes in film, as well as the philosophical origins of those themes. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-217
History of Ancient Philosophy*
Credit Hours: 4

The major movements and figures in the earliest development of philosophy in the west. The Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics and Epicureans, Plotinus, and Augustine are examined. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-219
History of Medieval Philosophy*
Credit Hours: 4

The major movements and figures of the period from the sixth to the fourteenth centuries A.D.: John Scotus Eriugena, Anselm, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, as well as the significant Arabian and Jewish philosophers of this period are read. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-221
History of Modern & Contemporary Phil
Credit Hours: 4

A critical study of the growth of philosophical consciousness from Descartes to Hegel: analysis of the major contemporary philosophical movements. Marxism, Existentialism, Pragmatism and Naturalism, Positivism and Language Analysis are emphasized. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-225
Philosophy of Being & God*
Credit Hours: 4

A traditional study of being (reality) and its principles, including the transcendentals - unity, truth, good-ness, beauty and its causes: God, the First Being. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-230
Women in Philosophy
Credit Hours: 4

An inquiry into the important, but often overlooked contributions of women to major movements in philosophy throughout the three major philosophical periods. Topics will likely include include, but not be limited to: Pythagoreanism, Cynicism, Cyrenaism, Sophism, Platonism, Neo-Platonism, Scholasticism, Cartesianism, Existentialism, Objectivism, and Feminism.

PHIL-233
Ethics in Business & Society*
Credit Hours: 4

An examination of ethics from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Students are exposed to the great ethical traditions of philosophy, and how they apply to business and society. Specifically, the course examines the natures of business and society and how they relate to questions of value and morality. Discussions are taken from current topics in business and society. This course serves as an elective for Business majors and minors. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-291
Special Topics in Philosophy
Credit Hours: 4

An intensive study of a particular subject or problem in philosophy to be announced prior to registration. The course may be conducted as lecture or seminar.

Course Level: 3

PHIL-304
Morality & Good Life
Credit Hours: 4

An exploration of moral philosophy, especially the topics of what it means to live a good life and be a good person. The primary focus will be an investigation of the virtue ethics theory of Aristotle and Saint Thomas Aquinas, as well as an investigation of diverse problems confronting the pursuit of moral science. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-313
Reading the Philosophers
Credit Hours: 4

Selected readings of alternate positions from philosophers old and new on a range of issues, perennial and contemporary.

PHIL-317
History of Ancient Philosophy
Credit Hours: 4

The major movements and figures in the earliest development of philosophy in the west. The Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics and Epicureans, Plotinus, and Augustine are examined. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-319
History of Medieval Philosophy
Credit Hours: 4

The major movements and figures of the period from the sixth to the fourteenth centuries A.D.: John Scotus Eriugena, Anselm, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, as well as the significant Arabian and Jewish philosophers of this period are read. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-321
History of Modern & Contemporary Phil
Credit Hours: 4

A critical study of the growth of philosophical consciousness from Descartes to Hegel: analysis of the major contemporary philosophical movements. Marxism, Existentialism, Pragmatism and Naturalism, Positivism and Language Analysis are emphasized. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-325
Philosophy of Being & God
Credit Hours: 4

A traditional study of being (reality) and its principles, including the transcendentals - unity, truth, good-ness, beauty and its causes: God, the First Being. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

PHIL-331
Ethics in Health Care
Credit Hours: 3

A course in two sections. The first is concerned with the nature of ethics as a philosophical discipline, and with the development of those fundamental principles which guide the moral person in making decisions involving ethical considerations. The second section will concentrate on situations encountered in the field of health care in which ethical decisions must be made, and will endeavor to facilitate the application of the principles through reading, reflection, and discussion. For nursing and gerontology students only: Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.Students majoring in Allied Health Studies may take PHIL331 for 4 credits. They must register at the Registrar's Office for credit adjustment.

PHIL-333
Ethics in Business & Society
Credit Hours: 4

An examination of ethics from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Students are exposed to the great ethical traditions of philosophy, and how they apply to business and society. Specifically, the course examines the natures of business and society and how they relate to questions of value and morality. Discussions are taken from current topics in business and society. This course serves as an elective for Business majors and minors. Satisfies Cluster 4 General Education requirement.

Course Level: 4

PHIL-409
Philosophy of Language
Credit Hours: 4

A study of the fundamental questions concerning the nature andrange of language. The course investigates meaning and usage, and places special emphasis on a study of how language enables one to think clearly and effectively.

PHIL-415
Philosophy of Knowledge
Credit Hours: 4

A critical and historical study of problems concerning human knowledge of reality. Sense perception and intellectual knowledge, truth, evidence, certitude, and intersubjectivity are covered.

PHIL-435
Coordinating Seminar
Credit Hours: 4

A study of the problem of integrating the basic truths of the four core philosophical disciplines. The aim is to construct the framework for a coherent philosophical system. It offers a combination of independent study and group discussion, and may include participation by all faculty members. The formulation of the paper for this course constitutes the capstone experience for philosophy majors.

PHIL-491
Independent Study
Credit Hours: 4

Directed study of a problem of interest to an individual student, contingent upon the willingness of a member of the program to guide the student and upon acceptance of the topic by the Program Chairperson. Variable Credit, students can register 0-4 credits.

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Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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