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Course Number: PHL 510
Course Title: Philosophical Anthropology: On Human Nature
Term: Summer 2014

Professor

Dr. Ronda Chervin

EMAIL: rchervin@holyapostles.edu

ALTERNATIVE EMAIL: chervinronda@gmail.com

(Emails are usually answered in 2-3 days or less)

Phone: 860-759-4521 EST for start of summer. Check later for time zone.

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

In this course you will study human nature from the perspective of the perennial tradition of Catholic philosophy, as well as that of Catholic phenomenological and existential insights. Assignments will be for both undergraduate and M.A. students with additional work assignments for M.A. Students listed each week when so designated.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Students will demonstrate a knowledge of 20th century existential and phenomenological perspectives on Human Nature.
  • Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the basics of Thomistic Philosophical Anthropology

3. COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1 May 5 Introduction

(Note: In many of these readings there are questions for the reader. Some are general, but some are personal. You are not obliged to answer any of the questions in a personal manner. You can just write a general answer about your own insights and observations to any personal questions.)

Readings for BA Students

  • Listen to Week 1 PHL510 Introductory Audio
  • Read Chervin/Janis Voyage to Insight: Invitation and Fitting out the Ship, pp. 1-12.

Assignment for BA Students

  1. Introduce yourself in a few paragraphs with a photo if you wish.
  2. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters.  Your  pages are due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. There will be a penalty for each day of lateness unless you notify the professor for that assignment of an emergency.  THESE 3 PAGES SHOULD BE PACKED - YOUR NAME ON THE FIRST LINE IS ENOUGH. DR. CHERVIN DOES NOT WANT TO SEE 6 DOUBLE LINES OF YOUR NAME AND THE NAME OF THE COURSE, ETC. OR WIDE SPACES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS.
  3. Put on the Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and repond to at least one other post. Please use the Requirements process as indicated in Populi for adding your own discussion.

Readings for M.A. Students

  • Listen to Week 1 PHL510 Introductory Audio
  • Read Chervin/Janis Voyage to Insight: Invitation and Fitting out the Ship, pp. 1-12. 
  • For the whole first part of this course, through Week 7 you have a choice. After finishing the Voyage to Insight assignments each week, you choose  between reading selections in Who, What, Why… book of articles, edited by Chervin that can be found as a link for each week’s lessons OR 2  books about philosophy of gender: Chervin, Feminine, Free and Faithful and Richards, Be a Man!  Why such a choice?  Some of you have a lot of background in philosophy coming into the M.A. program. Others much less. Since most of what is in the Who, What, Why…excerpts will also be covered in the McInerny Thomistic reading in the second half of the course, some of you may prefer to get into Christian philosophy of  Man and Woman through those readings instead.

Assignments for MA Students

  1. Introduce yourself in a few paragraphs with a photo if you wish.
  2. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters.  Your  pages are due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. There will be a penalty for each day of lateness unless you notify the professor for that assignment of an emergency.  THESE 3 PAGES SHOULD BE PACKED - YOUR NAME ON THE FIRST LINE IS ENOUGH. DR. CHERVIN DOES NOT WANT TO SEE 6 DOUBLE LINES OF YOUR NAME AND THE NAME OF THE COURSE, ETC. OR WIDE SPACES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS.
  3. Put on the Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages. Please use the Requirements process below for adding your own discussion.
  4. If you choose Who, What, Why… then the readings for this week are on  pp. 3-14 (Harold, Chervin, Clarke, and Schwarz on Body and Soul.) You need to write a one page single spaced response to all these questions about those readings:
    1. What was your own personal concept of human nature before starting the readings?
    2. What stood out for you in Chervin’s article about the unique self?
    3. The Clarke reading is difficult - write down any questions you had so that I can help clarify.
    4. What is the materialistic concept of the person? What did you get out of Schwarz's distinction between korper and leib? Summarize ways Schwarz tries to show that the person is different from his/her brain.

Send your answer to rchervin@holyapostles.com and put one highlight on the Discussion Board for M.A. Students and respond to at least one other post.

OR

If you choose Feminine, Free and Faithful, and Be a Man! then your assignment for Week 1 is to read Feminine, Free and Faithful, pp. 1-40 writing one page single-spaced of highlights from the reading. Send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on discussion board one of these highlights and respond to at least one other post.

Week 2: May 12

Readings for BA Students

  • Read Voyage to Insight, pp. 13-37

Assignments for BA Students

  1. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu.
  2. Put on the Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and respond to at least one other post. Please use the Requirements process below for adding your own discussion.

Process for MA Students

  1. Read Voyage to Insight, pp. 13-37
  2. Read Who, What…pp. 14-24 OR read Feminine, Free and Faithful, Pascal excerpts and Schwarz - Is there a God of Love? And Buber on the I and Thou.
  3. Listen to Audio on C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves.
  4. Listen to Audio on Von Hildebrand’s book The Heart.

Assignments for MA Students

  1. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font) pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters from Voyage to Insight due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and respond to at least one other post. Please use the Requirements process below for adding your own discussion.
  2. In 3 or more double-spaced pages answer the Who, What... Questions below; due Sunday, before midnight. Send responses to rchervin@holhyapostles.com and post one highlight on discussion board with a response to at least one other post. Please use the Requirements process below for adding your own discussion.

Who, What... Questions:

  1. Pick out ideas from Pascal you found to be true.
  2. Explain Pascal's Wager in your own words.
  3. Using Schwarz's diagram, explain his idea to an atheistic, an agnostic, or someone who thinks of God only as a sort of impersonal energy. Write about what you said and how this person responded. If you don't know anyone like this try it someone you think is vague about God being a God of love.
  4. Describe Lewis' 4 Loves with your own examples.
  5. Explain the I-it and the I-Thou relationships of Buber using your own examples. If Buber seems difficult to you, e-mail me for an explanation.
  6. Why does Von Hildebrand think that the popular idea that "love is not a matter of feeling but rather an act of the will" does not do justice to the role of the heart?

OR

Readings: If you are reading Feminine, Free and Faithful, read pp. 53-112

Assignments: write two pages single-spaced of highlights from the reading. Send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on discussion board one of these highlights and respond to at least one other post. 

Week 3: May 19

Readings for BA STUDENTS

  • Read Voyage to Insight, pp. 38-60

Assignments for BA Students

  1. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu.
  2. Add in your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and respond to at least one other BA person's post.

Process for MA Students

  1. Read Voyage to Insight, pp. 38-60
  2. Read Who, What…p. 25, Chervin: Masculine and Feminine Traits OR read Feminine, Free and Faithful.
  3. Listen to Week_3_Masc-Fem audio presentation on theories of the relationship between men and women
  4. Read Edith Stein excerpt in Who, What..., pp. 26-38
  5. Read Aristotle on Friendship in Who, What..., pp. 39-44.

Assignments for MA Students

  1. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font) pages in answer to all the Voyage questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Add in your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages.
  2. In 3 plus pages answer the Who, What... Questions below, due Sunday, before midnight. Send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Add in your Discussion Board one highlight and respond to at least one other MA person's post.

Who, What... Questions

  1. The traits' list is a stereotype. Did you disagree that any particular trait was listed as Chervin did? Any personal reflections on the traits you picked as yours or as ones you wished you had more of?
  2. From your reading of the WHOLE Stein excerpt, pick out ideas you thought especially insightful.
  3. Describe the 3 types of friendship Aristotle distinguishes.
  4. Give examples of each type from the history of your own experience of friendship and/or friendships you have witnessed or read about or seen in films or on TV sit coms.

OR

Readings: If you are reading Feminine, Free and Faithful, read pp. 53-112

Assignments:  Write  two pages single-spaced of highlights from the reading and send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Add in your discussion board one of these highlights and respond to at least one other person's post. 

Week 4: May 26

Readings for BA STUDENTS

  • Voyage to Insight, pp. 61-78

Assignments for BA Students

  • Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages.

Readings for M.A. Students

  • Voyage to Insight, pp. 61-78
  • Read Who, What, Why… JPII on Work, pp. 45-52 OR read Feminine, Free and Faithful

Assignments for MA Students

  • Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font) pages in answer to all the Voyage questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages.
  • Write 3 pages to send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu on the Who, What... Questions below and put one highlight on your discussion board and respond to at least one other post.

Who, What... Questions

  1. What concept of work did you have before the reading? Include negatives and positives.
  2. Prepare the lecture with questions that you could present to a specific group in a parish or school setting based on the reading.

OR

Readings: Feminine, Free and Faithful, pp. 113-154.

Assignments: Write 2 pages single-spaced and send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put a highlight on your discussion board and respond to at least one other post.

Week 5: June 2

Readings for BA STUDENTS

  • Voyage to Insight, pp. 78-94

Assignments for BA Students

  • Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and a response to another post.

Readings for MA Students:

  • Voyage to Insight, pp. 78-94
  • Who, What, Why…p. 53-56, Conflict Harold and Chervin on Anger OR read Be a Man!

Assignments for MA Students

  1. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED (12 font)  pages in answer to all the Voyage questions in the chapters due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on the Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and a response to another post.
  2. Write answers to Who, What... Questions below in 2 pages due Sunday. Highlight to Discussion Board and respond to at least one other post.

Who, What... Questions

  1. What did Harold write about Addiction that interested you? Give examples from your life or that of others you know or have read about.
  2. What did Dr. Ronda write about anger that you could benefit from or that would benefit others you talk to or teach. What do you think is the major cause of anger in our times?

OR

Readings: Be a Man!, pp. 1-100

Assignments: Write a 3 page single-spaced account of the insights of the author and your own thoughts about those insights to send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu and then put a highlight on the discussion board and a response to at least one other post.

Week 6: June 9

Readings for BA STUDENTS

  • Voyage to Insight, pp. 95-125 AND SCAN THE 2 LAST CHAPTERS.  

Assignments for BA Students

  • Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED  pages in answer to all the questions in the chapters up to p. 125 due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and a response to another post.

Process for M.A. Students

  1. Read Voyage to Insight, pp. 95-125 AND SCAN THE 2 LAST CHAPTERS.  
  2. Read Who, What Why…p. 56-83 [Letter to Artists, Balduin Schwarz on Graditude and Chervin: The Concept of Eternity] OR read Be a Man!
  3. Listen to Audio on Beauty John Paul II

Assignments for MA Students

  1. Write 3 DOUBLE SPACED  pages in answer to all the Voyage questions in the chapters up to p. 125 due Sunday before midnight. Send them to Dr. Chervin at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. Put on your Discussion Board one highlight from your 3 pages and a response to another post.
  2. Write 3 pages as usual on the Who, What... Questions below and put something on your discussion board, as usual with a response to another post.

Who, What... Questions

  1. What are some definitions of beauty from the audio and the reading of JP II? What are some of your greatest experiences of beauty? Is beauty objective or subjective? What lines from the reading do you want to remember?
  2. Write a teaching you could give about gratitude in the parish or at a school quoting from the reading.
  3. Give some definitions of eternity and some of time.
  4. What was your idea of eternity before doing the reading?
  5. Prepare a page about eternity you could give to a person dealing with their own death or that of a beloved person.

OR

Readings:  Be a Man! finish the book.

Assignments: Write a 3 page single-spaced account of the insights of the author and your own thoughts about those insights to send to rchervin@holyapostles.edu and then put a highlight on your discussion board and a response to at least one other post.

Week 7: June 16

Reading for All Students

  • Read in McInerny, Philosophical Psychology: Introduction pp. 1-7.

Assignments for ALL STUDENTS

  • ALL STUDENTS:  Prepare a 10-15 minute oral entitled MY PHILOSOPHY OF THE HUMAN PERSON that you will present on a Web-Ex on this weekend. You will be informed of the time. Should this time not be possible for you, call in your oral to me at 860-759-4521.

 Week 8: June 23

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • Read in McInerny, Vegetative Life pp. 38-63, Sensitive Life, pp. 64-86

Assignments for All Students

  • Write a 5 page double-spaced summary of the readings, especially highlighting definitions including your own examples to illustrate the main points. On your discussion board write about anything that interested you or that you want to know what other students thought about it. Respond to at least one other post.

Week 9: June 30

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • McInerny, Rational Life pp. 87-99 and Human Sensation, pp. 100-128.

Assignments for All Students

  • Write a 5 page double-spaced summary of the readings, especially highlighting definitions using your own examples for the main points. On discussion board write about anything that interested you or that you want to know what other students thought about it. Respond to at least one other post.

Week 10: July

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • McInerny, The Human Mind: Ideas and Judgments pp. 129-149 and The Human Mind: Reasoning, pp. 150-177.

Assignments for All Students

  • Write a 5 page double-spaced summary of the readings, especially highlighting definitions using your own examples for the main points.
  • On discussion board write about anything that interested you or that you want to know what other students thought about it. Respond to at least one other post.

Week 11: July 14

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • McInerny, Human Emotion, pp. 178-200 and The Human Will, pp. 201-222.

Assignments

  • Write a 5 page double-spaced summary of the readings, especially highlighting definitions using your own examples for the main points.
  • On discussion board write about anything that interested you or that you want to know what other students thought about it. Respond to at least one other post.

Week 12: July 21

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • McInerny, The Human Person, pp. 223-248.

Assignments

  • Write a 5 page double-spaced summary of the readings, especially highlighting definitions using your own examples for the main points. On discussion board write about anything that interested you or that you want to know what other students thought about it. Respond to at least one other post.

Week 13: July 28

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • Read in McInerny, The Human Soul, pp. 249-270

Assignments

  • Write a 5 page double-spaced summary of the readings, especially highlighting definitions. On discussion board write about anything that interested you or that you want to know what other students thought about it. Respond to at least one other post.

Week 14: August 4

Readings for ALL STUDENTS

  • McInerny, The Origin of Life, pp. 271 – start reading this week.

Assignments

  • No Assignment Due This Week. I recommend that you highlight as you read along this week. This will help prepare you for your written summary due next week.

Week 15: August 11

Readings

  • Finish chapter on the Origin of Life.

Assignment

  • Write a 5 page summary of the Origin of Life reading, especially highlighting definitions. On discussion board write about anything that interested you or something you did not agree about and respond to at least one other person's post.

4. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

  • Voyage to Insight by Ronda Chervin and Lois August Janis. (This out of print book is in the process of being reprinted for Holy Apostles classes. Expected price is $12, Amazon.com.
  • The Who - The What - The Why - The How - and The Where of the Human Person: Notes of Dr. Ronda Chervin for the Philosophy of Human Nature  - this text will be located in the Info tab of Populi.
  • (Choice, instead of The Who, The What…see Week 1 for explanation) Chervin, Feminine, Free and Faithful (Steubenville, Ohio: Franciscan University Press, 1995, Used Barnes and Noble starts at $1.99 and Fr. Larry Richards, Be a Man! (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2009 (ISBN: 978-1-58617-403-3) $14.12 Barnes and Noble.
  • Philosophical Psychology by D.Q. McInerny (Elmhurst, Pennsylvania, The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, 1999) order from www.fraternitypublications.com. $24.95 plus shipping.

5. EVALUATION

Each week there will be questions for response about the readings. In the first half of the Course questions will be from Voyage to Insight for all students and for M.A. students the additional choice between The Who, What, Where…by Chervin or Feminine Free and Faithful and Be a Man!.  At the end of the first half of the semester you will write an essay about your own Philosophy of the Human Person. The second half of the semester will be devoted to McInerny’s book also with responses as explained in each week’s assignments. All writings will be due on the Sunday evening after the Monday assignments. There will be a penalty for each day of lateness. If any serious reason keeps you from sending me your work, write me an e-mail to see about a change of deadline. As per instructions in each week’s assignments you will put ideas that you think are important to share from your response papers with the class on the discussion board. You will respond to at least one other’s person’s post as well.

For the second half of the course you will be reading and writing response papers and posting on the discussion board as per the syllabus.

Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

The entire grade will be based on these writings.

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

6. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

7. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own. At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

8. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

9. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete and must receive the grade that they have earned. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

10. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

Dr. Ronda Chervin has a Ph.D. in philosophy from Fordham University and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute.

She is a convert to the Catholic faith from a Jewish but atheistic background. She has been a professor at Loyola Marymount University, St. John's Seminary of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Our Lady of Corpus Christi, and presently teaches at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut.

More than fifty books of hers have been published by Catholic presses in the area of philosophy and spirituality. Dr. Ronda presents on EWTN and Catholic radio. She is a dedicated widow and grandmother.

Dr. Ronda can best be reached at rchervin@holyapostles.edu. You can call me, EDT, at 860-632-3059 in Connecticut or at 860-759-4521 when my sessions at Holy Apostles face to face are not in session. Any time between noon and 10 PM is good to call.

(860) 632-3010