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Essential Philosophy

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  1. Introduction
    Introduction: Essential Philosophy (Preview Content)
    1 Topic
  2. Dr. Schenk's Story: Essential Philosophy (Preview Content)
    1 Topic
  3. Lessons & Discussions
    Lesson 1: Fundamental Distinctions Used in Philosophy (Preview Content)
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  4. Discussion 1: Paying Attention to Your Own Thinking
  5. Lesson 2: Popular Errors in Academia (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  6. Discussion 2: Discussion of Three Common Academic Errors
  7. Lesson 3: Skepticism about Truth (Preview Content)
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  8. Lesson 4: Three Examples of Faulty Reasoning
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  9. Lesson 5: Ontology--The Study of Being
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  10. Discussion 3: Discussion of the Ontological Argument
  11. Lesson 6: Anselm’s Ontological Argument for the Existence of God
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  12. Lesson 7: Anselm’s Ontological Argument Continued
    3 Topics
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  13. Discussion 4: Alvin Plantinga's Contribution to Arguments for the Existence of God
  14. Lesson 8: Aquinas' Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
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    1 Quiz
  15. Lesson 9: Craig's Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
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    1 Quiz
  16. Discussion 5: Why Do We Keep Arguing about the Existence of God?
  17. Lesson 10: Grunbaum’s Response to the Cosmological Argument
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  18. Discussion 6: Why is There Something and Not Nothing?
  19. Lesson 11: Introduction to the Problem of Evil
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  20. Lesson 12: Solution to the Problem of Evil
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  21. Discussion 7: The Problem of Evil
  22. Lesson 13: Theodicies for the Greater Good Argument
    4 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  23. Lesson 14: William Rowe’s Evidential Version of the Problem of Evil Argument
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    1 Quiz
  24. Lesson 15: The Design Argument for the Existence of God
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    1 Quiz
  25. Lesson 16: The Fine-Tuning Argument for the Existence of God
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    1 Quiz
  26. Lesson 17: The Fine-Tuning Argument Continued
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  27. Discussion 8: The Fine-Tuning Argument
  28. Lesson 18: The Free Will Debate
    3 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  29. Discussion 9: The Free Will Debate
  30. Lesson 19: David Hume's Radical Empiricism and Argument Against Causation
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  31. Lesson 20: Roderick Chisholm's Theory of Agency
    2 Topics
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    1 Quiz
  32. Lesson 21:Chisholm's Critique of Hume's Compatibilist Theory of Action
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  33. Lesson 22: The Need for a Theory of Action
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  34. Lesson 23: Frankfurt's Theory of Action
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  35. Discussion 10: Why Educators Should Study Philosophy
  36. Discussion 11: Why Dr. Schenk Moved from Atheism to Theism
  37. End of Course Test
    End of Course Test: Essential Philosophy
    1 Quiz
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In this lecture, Dr. Schenk mentions Saint Thomas Aquinas’s “Five Ways” Argument as a background for the Cosmological Argument. If you are interested, an outline of Aquinas’s “Five Ways” is available here in the public domain from Minnesota State University.

Aquinas’s “Five Ways” is a collection of five arguments for the existence of God, including:

  1. Argument from Motion
  2. Argument from Efficient Causes
  3. Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reductio Argument)
  4. Argument from Gradation of Being
  5. Argument from Design
Saint Thomas Aquinas by Carlo Crivelli (1476)

Saint Thomas Aquinas was born in the Kingdom of Sicily in 1225 and died in 1274. Aquinas was a Dominican friar and a Catholic priest. His work in philosophy and theology has had immense influence on Western philosophical thought, with the Summa Theologica (a collection of the teachings of the Catholic Church) as his most famous work. His interests ranged from the study of reason, ethics, and natural law to metaphysics and theology. As Dr. Schenk shares, Aquinas embraced Aristotelian philosophy, merging it with his Christian beliefs. Aquinas was both a philosopher and a great theologian, and from his work came the philosophical school of Thomism. He was canonized as a Saint in 1323.

Triumph of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Benozzo Gozzoli (1471)