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About this Program

This program is for Supernumeraries who have recently finished their initial formation. It is offered during specific Annual Courses (flagged as ‘ATRIUM’ in the Course Listing). It is a three year program and provides basic philosophical foundations.

The word philosophy means ‘love of wisdom’. In philosophy, human reason, drawing together and drawing on all rational knowledge, searches for the ultimate causes and meaning of things, the foundation of being.

Philosophy provides the basic principles necessary to study Theology in later courses.


Year 1 (2022) – Introduction to Philosophy & Theology

Year 2 (2023) – Philosophy of the Human Person

Year 3 (2024) – Ethics

What You’ll Learn

Year 1: Introduction to Philosophy & Theology

The aim of this first subject is to introduce students to the nature of philosophical reflection and its working method, and learn basic philosophical principles. By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • understand the importance of philosophical reflection and its relevance for life and culture
  • understand basic principles of metaphysics
  • explain the relationship between faith and reason
  • demonstrate the existence of God using reason
  • recognise the importance of Philosophy for Theology
  • understand the sources and method of Theology.

Student notes (per topic)

  • Introduction to Philosophy | HERE
  • Metaphysics | HERE
  • Faith & Reason | HERE
  • Natural Theology | HERE
  • Introduction to Theology | HERE

Year 2: Philosophy of the Human Person

We will study the human person, considering the various dimensions of our being. It helps us to understand human nature and, therefore, more intentionally strive for what fulfils the human heart. By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand that there is a universal human nature
  • explain the basis for intrinsic human dignity
  • understand the role of reason, will & emotions for human flourishing
  • identify and respond to reductionist concepts of the human person in contemporary culture

Year 3: Ethics

Ethics aims to study the free acts of man to direct them towards the perfect good or the ultimate end of the person. Thus, based on the notion of the human person and what constitutes the fullness of meaning for their lives, students will be able to:

  • understand and explain the link between moral virtue and happiness
  • define and explain natural law and conscience
  • identify and explain the sources of the morality of human acts
  • understand, analyse and evaluate some popular ethical theories (utilitarianism, hedonism, ethical relativism) and be equipped to respond to them