[2021 Fall] Metaphysics: The Existence, Nature, and Intelligibility of God

The fourteen questions which we will read in this seminar, comprising eighty-five articles, will explore the existence, nature, and intelligibility of God.  The existential demonstration—the famous “five ways” of Aquinas—will be covered quickly: for their intelligibility grows the better we understand the rest of the questions, and we will be better equipped for grasping their significance in light of the divine nature and its intelligibility to us.  In addition to the divine attributes (simplicity, perfection, goodness, infinity, omnipresence, immutability, eternality, and unity), we will take recurrent interest in the topics of analogy, significance, knowledge, and the relation of act and potency which cuts across all being.

In this seminar, lasting 8 weeks (see here for more information on all Lyceum Institute seminars), basic principles of metaphysics will be applied to an understanding of the existence, nature, and intelligibility of God. One should be at least passingly familiar with both Aristotle and Aquinas, and especially the doctrine of act and potency. The instructor for this seminar is Brian Kemple, PhD, the Executive Director of the Lyceum Institute. You can read more about Dr. Kemple here and download the syllabus here.

WHEN
October 2–20 November
Saturdays, 3:15-4:15pm ET/7:15-8:15pm UTC [8:15-9:15pm UTC after Nov.7]

WHERE
Lyceum Institute digital platform run on Microsoft Teams

Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, with discounts for those who are professors and clergy (whose continuing education is not sufficiently prioritized by their institutions) and for students (who are already taxed excessively by the educational system). However, if you are part of the working world and wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the “standard” rate, it is acceptable to sign up at one of these discounted prices. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).

Lyceum Schedule [8/1-8/7]

Weekly Schedule of Events

8/2 Monday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.
  • Semiotics: An Introduction (6:00-6:45pm ET).  Among the words one finds in all the key texts of Charles Sanders Peirce, “continuity” perhaps holds a principled place of importance: for the fundamental doctrine of Peirce is not his semiotic, but his synechism: his belief that the universe holds no gaps, no hard and fast distinctions in the occurrence, existence, and intelligibility of phanerons (or, we might say, “phenomena”).  It is to the thinking through of this synechistic principle that we turn our attention in this the final week.

8/3 Tuesday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (9:30-10:00am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertemus in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (5:15-5:45pm ET — Iterum??!).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertemus in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Philosophical Happy Hour (5:45-7:15pm ET).  Slightly different time! Join us for drinks, conversation, lively debates, and get to know the Lyceum Institute and its members!  Open to the public: use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Happy Hour” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

8/4 Wednesday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.
  • Inquirere Session (5:00-7:00pm ET).  These Quaestiones Disputate sessions allow us to work out our questions communally in a live chat. There are three ways in which someone may participate in an Inquirere session: as an Inquirer, as a Responder, or as an Observer. An Inquirer is seeking to define and develop a question. A Responder brings updates to their question and works in a live dialectic on what updates have been brought. Observers listen and comment on the inquiries and responses given.

8/5 Thursday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (9:30-10:00am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertemus in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Elementary Latin Class (6:00-7:00pm ET).  Discimus de dominis et servibus!  Legimus et convertimus ex capitulo IV!

8/6 Friday

  • Open Chat (9:30-10:15am ET). Our regular Friday-morning open chat, allowing conversation between those in the West and those in the East–bridging the international community of the Lyceum Institute.
  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (11pm-12am ET).  Etiam exercitium in Lingua Latina!  Ista hora conveniens Orientalibus est (11am Manila time).

8/7 Saturday

  • Intermediate Latin Class(10-11am ET).  Cur Iulis rus amat?  Quia in urbe, semper in negotio est, sed in ruri otio vivit.  Legemus et convertemus ex capitulo XXVII! 

This Week [7/18-7/24]

Weekly Schedule of Events

7/19 Monday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.
  • Semiotics: An Introduction (6:00-6:45pm ET).  The second discussion of the week for the Semiotics seminar–how do signs shape our thinking?  In what manner does the vehicle affect the interpretant, and how does the interpretant regard the object?  How are we to classify the signs we use?  These are open-ended questions, to which Peirce gives us guidance but no final resolutions..

7/20 Tuesday

  • Ex Sancto Thoma Legimus (9:30-10:00am ET).  Legemus ex Sancto Thoma et convertit in linguam Anglicam; practicum bonum et utile est!
  • Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). Join us for drinks, conversation, lively debates, and get to know the Lyceum Institute and its members!  Open to the public: use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Happy Hour” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

7/21 Wednesday

  • Exercitium Linguae Latinae (2:00-2:30pm ET). Legemus ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ut melioremus nostrum locutionem et augeamus familiaritatem vocabulis.

7/22 Thursday

  • Elementary Latin (6:00-7:00pm ET).  Continuing into week two of our new introductory Latin Class, proceeding throughLingua Latina Per Se Illustrata.  If you are interested in learning Latin, check out the class!  It’s not too late to sign-up!

7/23 Friday

  • Open Chat (9:30-10:15am ET). Our regular Friday-morning open chat, allowing conversation between those in the West and those in the East–bridging the international community of the Lyceum Institute.
  • Exercitium in Lingua Latina (11pm-12am ET).  Etiam exercitium in Lingua Latina!  Ista hora conveniens Orientalibus est (11am Manila time).

7/24 Saturday

  • Intermediate Latin Class (10-11am ET).  Postquam Syra facta Marci ad Quintum intimavit, ea narrat fabulam Theseum et Minotarum eum.  Legemus et convertemus (in linguam Anglicam) capitulum XXV ex Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata.
  • Seminar Discussion Sessions: Week 7 of 8.
    • ​​​​​​​Science: Aristotle’s Organon (1-2pm ET).  Diving into book II of the Posterior Analytics, we progress to a consideration of the method of scientific examination itself.  Here, we will see how important is the middle term in attaining demonstrations of a properly scientific kind.
    • Semiotics: An Introduction (3-4pm ET).  What do we mean by “reality”?  Or “belief”?  How are they related to “truth”?  These are our questions this week: and here, pulling together some of the varied threads we have seen in the previous weeks, we will see how the right understanding of signs can lead us from thought to truth itself: and all the benefits thereof.
    • Thomistic Psychology: World and Passions (5-6pm ET).  Anger–rage–hatred.  They are emotions familiar to us today, confronted as we are with a media panopticon of injustices and the suggestion that we are victims somehow.  But is this the right and fitting purpose of anger?  Or does it have some role to play, a more important role, in the pursuit not of vaguely-articulated rights, but rather in the rectifying of our pursuit of the true good?

This Week [1/31-2/6]


February already? How the days fly.

2/2 Tuesday – Philosophical Happy Hour (5:30-7:00pm ET). Grab a drink and have a chat about things that really matter! Always open to suggested topics: any questions you may have, feel free to bring them. Open to the public. Use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “happy hour” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

2/5 Friday – Open Chat (9:30-10:15am ET). Our regular Friday-morning open chat, allowing conversation between those in the West and those in the East–part of the truly international nature of the Lyceum Institute. A good way to bring the thinking of one week to a close and launch into the next.

2/6 Saturday – Latin Class (10-11am ET). Week three already! We continue progressing through Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Familia Romana and learn to think in Latin. We’ll be having full conversations before long.

2/6 Saturday – Seminar Discussion Sessions. Already reaching the halfway point of our 2021 Winter Seminars–how fast it flies! At 1:15-2:15pm ET, Metaphysics: The Discovery of Ens inquantum Ens will take a deep look at the modes of procession in science, and specifically the “mode of intellect” as pertaining to metaphysics. Afterwards, at 3:00-4:00pm ET, Ethics: The Good Life seeks to understand the role of intellectual vision as it redounds to all the aspects of our lives in constituting our happiness.

2/7 Sunday – Open Chat Asia (4:00-5:30am ET/5:00-6:30pm GMT+8). Technically this is next week–but one of our members hosts an open chat for those on the other side of the world. A great opportunity for those living in far-removed parts of the world to meet some members and chat. Open to the public. Use the “Send Us a Message” form here (write “Open Chat Asia” in the message box) and we’ll see you on Teams!

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