The Personalist Project

Accessed on May 28, 2023 - 4:42:15

New course offering for local young adults

Katie van Schaijik, Feb 12, 2022

A college-age friend recently asked us if we could offer a course again. We said we’d be happy to do it, if we can find 5 – 10 others to join her. 

If you’re interested or want more information, email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Feel free to forward if you know someone else who might like to join. 

Philosophy of the human person: a guided-reading seminar 

Over the course of 12 or 13 sessions, we will study seminal (primarily philosophical) texts to stimulate reflection and discussion about the nature, dignity, and vocation of the human person. The course is for personal enrichment, not academic credit. There are no tests or papers required.

Where and when: One evening 7 – 9:00 p.m. (which evening is TBD) every third week or so at our home in West Chester.

Who is eligible? We’ll start by offering it to young adults aged 18 – 30. You don’t need a background in philosophy to benefit from this course, but you do need to be willing and able to read and engage intelligently with some challenging texts and concepts. You can test your interest and aptitude by reading The Apology of Socrates. If you understand and enjoy it, you’re eligible. If you’re still not sure, feel free to come to the first session and decide after that. (If you’re over thirty and would like to join, let us know, in case we don’t get enough under-thirties.) 

Suggested free-will donation for the course: $50.00 per person. All proceeds will go toward our (still embryonic) local lay association. You will also need to purchase or borrow a few books along the way. Where we use passages rather than whole texts, we’ll provide copies.

The following gives an idea of major themes and their progression, but topics are not fixed and will likely need adjusting as we go.

Session 1: Intro to philosophy (Socrates, Guardini, von Hildebrand)

Session 2:  The transcendence of the human person (Josef Pieper)

Session 3: The medieval synthesis, the great disruption, and the roots of relativism (passages from various thinkers)

Session 4: Answering the challenge of relativism. The objectivity of truth and value (passages from various thinkers)

Session 5: Man as person and subject (Wojtyla, Crosby)

Session 6: Embodiment of the human person (various passages)

Session 7: The heart and emotions, against rationalism and a reductive or hyper-spiritual vision of the person (Von Hildebrand, et al)

Session 8: Conscience, illative sense, accompaniment (Newman)

Session 9: Intersubjectivity, persons as contingent, incomplete, interdependent (Buber, et al). 

Session 10: Nature of evil, master/slave dynamic, love vs. use. (Wojtyla, Scheler, et al)

Session 11: Man and woman, complementarity, reciprocity, the call to unity and fecundity (Wojtyla, von Hildebrand, Edith Stein, Grabowski)

Session 12: Community and corporate subjectivity (TBD)

Session 13: Theonomy, man as made for union with God (TBD)