Course Number: PHS607
Term: Fall 2017


Fr. Brian Mullady, O.P.

Email: or


This is a basic philosophy course for the graduate student in the philosophy which is at the basis of the theology of the Catholic Church.  Even if the student has had some philosophical background, this course is a necessary prerequisite to understand the terminology used in Catholic theology (e.g. cause, effect, form, matter, substance, accident, nature, essence and existence).  Topics include: why philosophy is necessary for theology, the history of philosophy, physics, ethics, logic, metaphysics and social philosophy.


  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the basic disciplines of philosophy which are used in Catholicism.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the important terms theology uses from philosophy.
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the special place the Scholastic philosophy of Aquinas has occupied in the development of Catholic theology.

3. COURSE SCHEDULE (Assignments Due Saturday Midnight of Week)

The Assignments are under the Lessons tab

Week 1 - Lesson 1: The Necessity of Philosophy for Theology

Written Assignment

Those who are new to Distance Learning whom I have never tutored in the program should write me a short (one page at most) biography explaining to me who you are and why you are taking the course.

Read: Socrates, Paul Johnson

Week 2 - Lesson 2: History of Philosophy: The Ancient World

Week 3 - Lesson 3: History of Philosophy: The Middle Ages

Week 4 - Lesson 4: The Modern World

Required Discussion Post

You are to choose one question from among the lessons offered up to this point and post a 300-word response in the designated container titled 1st Discussion Post. You are also to pick by the last week of each module one answer to a question posted by one of your classmates and write a 50-word response to that answer.

Week 5 - Lesson 5: Logic

Written Assignment 1

Explain the nature of theology, science and philosophy and their relationship with each other.

Week 6 - Lesson 6: Natural Philosophy

Week 7 - Lesson 7: Metaphysics

Week 8 - Lesson 8: Epistemology

Week 9 - Lesson 9: Philosophical Psychology and the Nature of the Person

Required Discussion Post

You are to choose one question from among the lessons offered up to this point and post a 300-word response in the designated container titled 2nd Discussion Post. You are also to pick by the last week of each module one answer to a question posted by one of your classmates and write a 50-word response to that answer.

Week 10 - Lesson 10: Ethics

Written Assignment 2:

Why is the affirmation that there are real objective metaphysical ideas so important as a basis for understanding the theology of the Catholic Church?

Week 11 - Lesson 11: Application: Personhood and the Incarnation

Week 12 - Lesson 12: Social Philosophy

Week 13 - Lesson 13: The 24 Principles of Thomistic Philosophy and Various Definitions of Philosophical Terms;

Required Discussion Post

You are to choose one question from among the lessons offered up to this point and post a 300-word response in the designated container titled 3rd Discussion Post. You are also to pick by the last week of each module one answer to a question posted by one of your classmates and write a 50-word response to that answer.

Week 14 - Lesson 14: Fides et Ratio, John Paul II; Summary and Review

Written Assignment 3:

According to Pope John Paul II in Faith and Reason, what are the things science can contribute to faith and what adjustments must scientists and philosophers do today to return to a philosophy which can serve as a true handmaid of theology?

Week 15 - Final Exam


Three Papers:

The course requires in addition to the final that you write and send me three papers.

These papers are to be three pages, double-spaced, 12-point font (New Times Roman or Arial is fine). Footnotes or end notes should be used, plus a Title page at the beginning. Proper academic format should be used. The page limit is important in your practicing the succinct presentation of your arguments, so do make the effort to stay within this parameter. I want you to use foot or endnotes as this is an academic paper, and those should be done according to the HACS Style Sheet available online at

Please send in either Microsoft Word or Rich Text format to:

The audio lectures and notes should be clear enough for the papers. What you are to demonstrate on these papers is that you have understood the material presented by the professor. It would be good to quote from either lectures or notes.

If you do not receive word from me that I received your paper within a few days of your sending it, I did not get it. If you do not get the corrected paper back within a week, or I did not remember to attach it, please advise me. If you cannot make the deadline, please inform me of the reason. The study questions at the end of the lessons are for the purpose of both private study and creating a distance learning community experience.

The required reading for this class may be found in the notes: under the Course Documents tab on the left you will find the Lessons, Lesson Reviews, and Review Questions.

Two Voluntary Discussion Forums

Two voluntary discussion areas have been made available to you in this course:

Water Cooler

This is for you to communicate with your fellow students about personal and spiritual matters not related to the course. I will not monitor this forum, so feel free to discuss anything important to you but to also not place items needing my response in this forum.

General Discussion

This is for course-related discussion. You may post questions about the materials and topics, your thoughts and comments about the course concepts, etc. Be sure to respond to the postings of your fellow students, the same as you would do in a traditional classroom. I will monitor this forum, but please do not expect me to comment on all postings.

Please use the General Discussion forum for all course-related questions that you would like to ask of me. If you have a question, chances are some of your fellow students have the same question and will be able to join in the response. You may also contact me directly as I do not check the General Discussion every day. Specific personal questions regarding your grades, extensions for due dates, and private matters should be sent to me in an email: Questions regarding the manner and method of the final exam should be addressed to Bob Mish in the distance learning office: I will do my best to respond to you within 48-hours, but as noted below, I may be out-of-range of Internet access for several days at a time.

Three Required Discussion Posts

In addition to the two general discussion areas (e.g. Water Cooler & General Discussions), three required discussion posts, designed to correspond to the three papers this course requires, have been created for the purpose of assignment submission and peer review. Within each designated discussion, you are to choose one question from among the lessons offered in that time period and post a 300-word response in the designated container. You are also to pick one answer to a question posted by one of your classmates and write a 50-word response to that answer. I will monitor and comment once on all the questions and answers, and this should help you to orient your mind to the material within the module as you begin the process of writing your papers.

One Final Exam


ISBN-13: 978-1620323083.  

Suggested link:


34% (final exam); 33% (reflection papers), 33% (discussion postings); Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at


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


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Fr. Brian Thomas Becket Mullady, O.P., is the son of an Air Force officer and was raised throughout the United States. He entered the Dominican Order in 1966 and was ordained in Oakland, California, in 1972. He has been a parish priest, high school teacher, retreat master, mission preacher, and university professor. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from the Angelicum University in Rome, Italy and was professor there for six years. He has taught at several colleges and seminaries in the United States. He is an academician of the Catholic Academy of Science. He was most recently a Professor of Theology at Campion College in San Francisco. He is currently a mission preacher and retreat master for the Western Dominican Province. He also teaches two months of the year at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT. He has had five series on Mother Angelica's EWTN television network. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and writes the Answer column in Homiletic and Pastoral Review.