philosophy at immaculate heart of mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Seminary Philosophy Major

The Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Seminary Philosophy Bachelor of Arts degree recognizes that some students majoring in philosophy do so intending to pursue a degree in theology at the graduate level. 

Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary is located adjacent to Saint Mary's Winona Campus. Saint Mary's close collaboration with the institution gives students a relevant and challenging curriculum that will prepare them for seminary or graduate study.

Career Options

This Saint Mary's University of Minnesota major is specifically designed to prepare students for the requirements of studying theology at the graduate level or entering the priesthood.

High School Preparation

High school coursework that will support a student in his or her pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts in IHM Seminary Philosophy includes experience in Comparative Government and Politics, Computer Science, English Literature, European History, Philosophy, Trigonometry, and World History.

Enhance Your Experience

Students who earn a Bachelor of Arts in Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary Philosophy oftentimes pursue a double major or minor in history, literature, or global studies.

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

PH102 Logic (3 cr.)

This course presents an introduction to contemporary symbolic logic as well as to traditional deductive and inductive logic.

PH253 History of Ancient Philosophy: Thales – Aristotle (4 cr.)

This course, the first of four sequential courses in the history of philosophy, is a survey of Greek philosophy from its origins in the thought of Presocratic poets and philosophers to its later development in the dialogues of Plato and writings of Aristotle. Through the close reading of primary sources in their historical context and through a wide variety of other exercises, students gain an appreciation for the major texts, themes and problems that have shaped the Western philosophical tradition. Students also begin to develop a facility with the various tools and terms with which philosophers in the Western tradition have worked.

PH300 Moral Theory (3 cr.)

The course begins with a thorough examination of the foundations of natural law ethics and consequentialist ethics. The instructor links those theories of morality with explicit assumptions regarding human nature. Central texts in the course are Saint Thomas Aquinas' Prima Secundae and John Stewart Mill's Utilitarianism.

PH345 Philosophy of the Person (3 cr.)

This course critically examines some of the most influential conceptions of the human person (e.g., the Platonic, the Aristotelian–Thomistic, the Judeo–Christian, the Hobbesian and that of other modern thinkers). It considers such fundamental issues as the existence and nature of the human soul; whether human beings are innately good, innately evil, both or neither; in what sense, if any, human beings are rational; and the nature and basis of human freedom.

PH354 History of Medieval Philosophy: Augustine – Ockham (4 cr.)

In this course, the second of four history of philosophy courses, students study the development of philosophy in the Middle Ages through its contact with Christianity. The goals of this course are to examine the following themes and philosophical problems: the relation of faith and reason, spirituality and philosophy; human knowledge and human freedom; and philosophy as a principle of integration within Medieval culture

PH355 History of Modern Philosophy: Bacon – Hegel (4 cr.)

In this course, the third of four history of philosophy courses, students study the major philosophical movements of the early modern period beginning with the rise of inductive natural science. Students then examine rationalism, empiricism, Kant's critical philosophy, and Hegel. The central epistemological theme of the course reflects the modern conviction that before other sciences may be studied with profit, the possibility and modes of human knowledge must be determined.

PH358 History of 19th and 20th Century Philosophy: Kierkegaard – Wittgenstein (4 cr.)

This course, the fourth of four history of philosophy courses, is an examination of the post-Kantian philosophy focusing on selected major movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as idealism, phenomenology, existentialism, and British analytic and ordinary language philosophy. Readings may include Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, James, Foucault, Wittgenstein, MacIntyre, and John Paul II, among others.

PH360 Epistemology (3 cr.)

Epistemology is the study of how it is that humans come to know themselves and the world we inhabit. This course is a survey of theories of knowledge that span the western tradition from the Greeks to the present day. Issues raised include the definitions of certainty and truth, the reliability of sense knowledge, the way in which we know ourselves and others, as well as other related issues raised by our authors.

PH400 Metaphysics (3 cr.)

This course examines critically the classic and contemporary concepts of being-in-the-world, its causes, its effects, and its modalities and relations.

PH402 Senior Thesis (3 cr.)

This course is taken in the second semester of the senior year and is an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member in the philosophy department on a written thesis.

PH410 The Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas (3 cr.)

Saint Thomas Aquinas is one of the central figures in the history of Western philosophy. This course is designed to provide the student the opportunity to discover, reflect upon and react critically to Aquinas's life, thought and writings. The themes covered include an investigation of what we can know of God by the use of human reason, the role of human beings and their nature in the order of creation, the manner in which human action, in cooperation with grace, can bring humans to their final end, as well as other issues of metaphysics, psychology and methodology. While this course is designed as an in-depth study of Aquinas, it also serves as a preparation for the future study of Aquinas's theology; accordingly, there is a decided focus on developing a Thomistic vocabulary. This course is designed to be taken in the spring semester of the senior year.

B. Two additional philosophy courses.

C. Required seminary courses

(these credits and GPA not included in the major)

L101 Beginning Latin I (3 cr.)

This course is an introduction to the basic grammar and syntax of classical Latin.  Students will read and examine primary texts from the ancient world. 

L102 Beginning Latin II (3 cr.)

This course completes the survey of Latin grammar while introducing students to the translation of classical Latin authors, early Church fathers, and some later Church liturgy.

TH115 The Mystery of Salvation (3 cr.)

The Christian Bible leads to Christ, the mystery of salvation. This course is divided into four parts corresponding to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: professing our faith, celebrating our faith, living our faith, and praying our faith. The primary sources are Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

TH210 Introduction to the Old Testament (3 cr.)

Students survey examples from the Pentateuch, Prophetic, Historical and Wisdom texts, their forms, settings and theology. This survey incorporates an appreciation for some basic contemporary interpretive methods. Methods encouraged by Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation are studied.

TH220 Introduction to the New Testament (3 cr.)

Students survey examples of texts from the Pauline, Catholic and Pastoral Epistles, the Gospels and Acts; Hebrews and Revelation are also introduced. Working with the interpretive strategies gained in TH210 Introduction to Old Testament, students begin to assess the dynamics of interpretation through the completion of an exegetical paper.