Seminar: Retrieving Thomistic Psychology

[CPI Seminars] [CPI Lyceum Platform]

Two momentous intellectual events occurred in 1879: Wilhelm Wundt founded the first formal laboratory for psychological research at the University of Leipzig, and Pope Saint Leo XIII released the encyclical Aeterni Patris, which exhorted the retrieval and teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Catholic universities.  The first, while a legitimate and necessary approach to understanding the human psyche, needs a more robust follow-through on the second; that is, the scientific understanding of the human psyche needs a philosophical understanding, and no philosopher has provided as strong an understanding of the human psyche as Thomas Aquinas.

In 2017, Veronica Tucci and Nidal Moukaddam published an article in the Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock, highlighting how pervasive mental health issues have become in our world.  Depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, and psychosis all appear–they point out–to be on the rise.  Why is this?  We have many mental health professionals today, but, it seems to me, no real grasp of what “mental health” means in truth: absent a rich causal understanding of the human psyche, we seem condemned to improve only in our recognition that something is not right, that we are mentally unhealthy–all while the epidemic of mental unhealth spreads.

[Syllabus] [Flyer]

Thus, we seek to retrieve the Thomistic understanding of the soul in a way conducive to an overall deepening of our psychological insight.

At the center of this retrieval is a threefold recovery and clarification: 1) of the understanding of the ψυχή, anima, or soul; 2) of the faculties by means of which the soul operates; and 3), of the notion of habits as structuring both these faculties individually and the entire soul.  These recoveries and clarifications will help us understand personhood.

The seminar will run for 8 weeks–from September 25 through November 13–with discussion sessions being held on Wednesdays at 7:30pm ET, lasting roughly 45 minutes.

The cost of the seminar is $135 per person (inclusive of a $12 technology fee).  Professors receive a discounted rate of $85 per person and graduate and undergraduate students of $60 per person.  Lyceum discounts also apply to these lowered rates.

If you would like to sign up (the first session is free! no payments due until 10/1), please fill out the form below and Dr. Kemple will be in touch.

For more details, please see the seminar syllabus or contact Dr. Kemple.  There is also a concurrent seminar on Semiotics.

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