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CODE PHI2123

 
TITLE Metaphysics 2: Natural Theology and Atheism

 
LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Philosophy

 
DESCRIPTION This study unit examines the various arguments for the existence of God. These include: Aquinas's five ways for the existence of God (the argument of the Unmoved Mover, the argument of the Uncaused Cause, the argument from Contingency, the argument from Degree, and the Teleological argument); Anselm's Ontological argument together with its elaboration by Kant; the argument from religious experience and the argument from evil.

Study-unit Aims

The aims of this study-unit are (a) to demonstrate the rational grounds for the existence of God as proposed by a number of philosophers; (b) to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the proofs of the existence of God; (c) to adopt a critical stance towards each of these proofs.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- be familiar with the use of strictly philosophical argument in such theological contexts as Aquinas’s Summa;
- explain the general philosophical problems raised in any attempt at talk involving God.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- assess the proofs for the existence of God;
- evaluate these proofs in relation to contemporary discourse on the existence of God.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Bullough, E., (Trans.), Elpington G.A. (ed.) (1989) The Philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas, Ayer Co., Salem, New Hampshire, USA.
Kretzmann, N., and Stump, E., (eds.) (1993) The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas. Cambridge: CUP. (Important Chapters: 1-4, 9).
Martin. C. (ed.) (1988) The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. London: Routledge. (Important Chapters: 1-4).
McInerny, R. (1990) A First Glance at St Thomas Aquinas. Notre Dame, Indiana, USA: University of Notre Dame Press.

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 100%

 
LECTURER/S Mark Sultana

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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