The following is a list of works read in whole or in part in the curriculum of Thomas Aquinas College. They are not all of equal weight. Some are regarded as masterworks, while others serve as source of opinions that either lead students to the truth or make the truth more evident by opposition to it. (In 2010, College Dean Brian T. Kelly began a series of presentations to the Board of Governors about why the curriculum includes particular authors and subjects. You can read those talks by clicking here.)

 

Freshman Year | Sophomore Year | Junior Year | Senior Year
Compositions | Senior Thesis

Freshman Year

Theology

 

The Holy Bible

Philosophy

 

Plato

Meno, Protagoras, Gorgias, Apology, Crito, Phaedo

 

Porphyry

On the Predicaments (Isagoge)

 

Aristotle

Categories, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Posterior AnalyticsTopics

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

Proemium to the Commentary on the Posterior Analytics

Natural Science

 

Aristotle

Parts of Animals

 

DeKoninck

The Lifeless World of Biology

 

Fabre

Souvenirs Entomologiques

 

Galen

On the Natural Faculties

 

Harvey

On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals

 

Linnaeus

Systema Naturae

 

Pascal

On the Equilibrium of Liquids

 

Archimedes

On Floating Bodies

 

Mendel

Plant Hybridization

 

Various Authors

Scientific papers of Driesch, Gould and Marler, Tinbergen, Goethe, Virchow, von Frisch, et alia

 

 

Measurements Manual

Mathematics

 

Euclid

Elements

Language

 

 

A Primer in Latin Morphology According to the “Stem Method”

Latin Readings According to the “Stem Method”

 

Nesfield

Aids to the Study and Composition of English

Seminar

 

Homer

Iliad, Odyssey

 

Plato

Ion, Symposium, Republic

 

Aeschylus

Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides

 

Sophocles

Oedipus Tyrannus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone

 

Herodotus

Histories

 

Plutarch

Lives (Lycurgus, Pericles, Aristides, Alcibiades, Alexander)

 

Aristotle

Poetics, Rhetoric

 

Euripides

Hippolytus

 

Thucydides

History of the Peloponnesian War

 

Aristophanes

The Birds, The Clouds

 

Sophomore Year

Theology

 

St. Augustine

On Christian Doctrine, On the Spirit and the Letter, On Nature and Grace, On the Predestination of the Saints, On the Gift of Perseverance, City of God

 

St. Athanasius

On the Incarnation

 

Gaunilo

On Behalf of the Fool

 

St. Anselm

Proslogion, Reply to Gaunilo

 

St. John Damascene

An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith

Philosophy

 

Pre-Socratic Philosophers

Fragments

 

Aristotle

Physics, De Anima

Natural Science

 

Aristotle

On Generation and Corruption

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

On the Principles of Nature, On the Combination of the Elements

 

Lavoisier

Elements of Chemistry

 

Avogadro

Masses and Proportions of Elementary Molecules

 

Dalton

Proportion of Gases in the Atmosphere

 

Gay-Lussac

Combination of Gaseous Substances

 

Pascal

Treatise on the Weight of the Mass of Air

 

Various Authors

Scientific papers of Berthollet, Couper, Lavoisier, Mendeleev, Richter, Wollaston, Cannizzaro,et alia

   

Atomic Theory Manual

Mathematics

 

Plato

Timaeus

 

Ptolemy

Almagest

 

Copernicus

Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres

 

Apollonius

On Conic Sections

 

Kepler

Epitome of Copernican Astronomy, Astronomia Nova

 

Archimedes

On Conoids and Spheroids

Language

   

Latin Readings According to the Stem Method—Sophomore Year

 

Martin of Denmark

Tractas De Modis Significandi

 

Horace, Cicero

Selections

 

St.Thomas Aquinas

Selections

 

Canon of the Mass

 

Seminar

 

Virgil

Aeneid

 

Lucretius

On the Nature of Things

 

Livy

The Rise of Rome

 

Plutarch

Lives (Marcellus, Caius Marius, Sylla, Tiberius Gracchus, Caius Gracchus, Caesar, Cato the Younger, Marcus Brutus, Comparison of Dion and Brutus)

 

Cicero

On Duties

 

Tacitus

Annals

 

Epictetus

Manual

 

St. Augustine

Confessions, On the Teacher

 

Boethius

Consolation of Philosophy

 

Dante

Divine Comedy; Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise

 

Chaucer

Canterbury Tales

 

The Pearl Poet

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

 

Spenser

Faerie Queen

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

On the Teacher

 

Junior Year

Theology

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

Summa Theologiae: On Sacred Doctrine, On God, On Law

Philosophy

 

Aristotle

Nicomachean Ethics, Politics

Natural Science

 

Descartes

Principles of Philosophy

 

Galileo

Two New Sciences

 

Newton

Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy

Mathematics

 

Viete

Standard Enumeration of Geometric Results, Introduction to the Analytic Art

 

Descartes

Geometry

 

Archimedes

Quadrature of the Parabola

 

Various Authors

Mathematical works of Hippocrates, Archimedes, Cavalieri, Pascal, Leibniz, Bernoulli, Newton, Berkeley, Balzano,et alia

 

Music

 

Plato

Timaeus

 

Boethius

On Music

 

Mozart

Sonatas

 

Gustin

Tonality

 

Kalkavage

On the Measurement of Tones

Seminar

 

Cervantes

Don Quixote

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

On Kingship, Summa Theologiae I-II, Q. 105, Art. 1

 

Machiavelli

The Prince, Discourses

 

Shakespeare

Julius Caesar, King Richard the Second, King Henry the Fourth: Part One, Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Sonnets

 

Bacon

The Great Instauration, The New Organon

 

Descartes

Discourse on Method, Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Meditations

 

Pascal

Pensées

 

Hobbes

Leviathan

 

Spinoza

Theologico-Political Treatise

 

Milton

Paradise Lost

 

Corneille

Le Cid

 

Racine

Phaedre

 

Locke

Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Second Essay on Civil Government

 

Berkeley

Treatise Concerning Human Knowledge

 

Hume

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

 

Swift

Gulliver’s Travels

 

Gibbon

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

 

Leibniz

Discourse on Metaphysics

 

Rousseau

Social Contract, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

 

Kant

Critique of Pure Reason

 

Hamilton, Madison, Jay

Federalist Papers

 

Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Lincoln-Douglas Debates

 

Senior Year

Theology

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

Summa Theologiae: On the Trinity, On the Sacraments, On the Passion of Christ

Philosophy

 

Aristotle

Physics, Metaphysics

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

 On Being and Essence

Natural Science

 

Newton

Optics and Principia

 

Huygens

Treatise on Light

 

Young

“On Light and Color”

 

Gilbert

De Magnete

 

Faraday

Experimental Researches in Electricity

 

Maxwell

various papers and essays

 

Darwin

Origin of the Species

 

Jenkins

Review of the Origin of the Species

 

Mivart

On the Genesis of Species

 

Mendel

Experiments in Plant Hybridization

 

Schrödinger

What is Life

 

Mayr

One Long Argument

 

Watson & Crick

“Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids”, Monod, Chance and Necessity

 

Jonas

“Philosophical Aspects of Darwinism”

 

Eldredge & Gould

“Punctuated Equilibria”

 

Harold

The Way of the Cell

 

Polanyi

“Life’s Irreducible Structure”

 

Kass

“The Permanent Limitation of Biology”

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

Summa Contra Gentiles, In metaphysicam Aristotelis commentaria, Questiones disputationae depotential

 

Aristotle

Metaphysics

 

St. Augustine

Literal Interpretation of Genesis

 

Manual of readings from other scientists (Oersted, Ampere, et al.)

Mathematics

 

Dedekind

Essay on the Theory of Numbers

 

Lobachevski

Geometrical Researches on the Theory of Parallels

 

Einstein

Relativity: The Special and the General Theory

 

Readings from various mathematicians

 

 

 

Seminar

 

Tolstoy

War and Peace

 

Smith

Wealth of Nations

 

Kant

Critique of Pure Reason, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

 

Goethe

Faust

 

Hegel

Philosophy of History, Phenomenology of the Spirit

 

Feuerbach

Essence of Christianity

 

Austen

Emma

 

Tocqueville

Democracy in America, The Old Regime and the Revolution

 

Twain

Huckleberry Finn

 

Marx

Capital, Communist Manifesto, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, German Ideology

 

Engels

Quantity and Quality, Negation of the Negation

 

Ibsen

A Doll's House

 

Dostoyevski

Brothers Karamazov

 

Nietzsche

On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History, Beyond Good & Evil

 

Kierkegaard

Fear and Trembling, Philosophical Fragments

 

Cather

My Antonia

 

Flaubert

Three Tales

 

Newman

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

 

Conrad

Heart of Darkness

 

Melville

Benito Cereno

 

Eliot

The Waste Land, Journey of the Magi

 

Joyce

Dubliners (four selections:), Eveline, A Little Cloud, A Painful Case, The Dead

 

Freud

Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis

 

Jung

Analytical Psychology

 

Heidegger

Introduction to Metaphysics, Lecture 1

 

Faulkner

The Bear

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

The Division and Methods of the Sciences

 

St. Pius X

Pascendi Dominici Gregis

 

Leo XIII

Aeterni Patris, Rerum Novarum

 

Pius XII

Humani Generis

 

Pius XI

Quadragesimo Anno

 

O’Connor

A Good Man is Hard to Find, The Enduring Chill

 

Plato

Phaedrus

 

Pope St. John
Paul II

Veritatis Splendor

 

 

Compositions

Writing requires both greater completeness and greater precision than does speech. On the one hand, the writer cannot make assumptions about the unknown reader; on the other hand, his prose must be efficient. The College helps students develop their writing skills through the essays they write periodically each year. Five essays are written in  freshman year, four sophomore year, and two lengthier essays are written in junior year. These essays are reviewed carefully by tutors for content as well as for grammar, style, and arrangement and development of ideas. Seniors write a more substantial “Senior Thesis”.

Senior Thesis

The Senior Thesis is an integral part of the curriculum. As compared with the other parts, it requires a greater independence on the part of the student. He frames a question of the sort the authors in the program themselves frame and, under the direction of a tutor, refines, explores, and answers that question. The student’s answer need not be ultimate, but it must not be superficial or simply the repetition of authority. The thesis is of greater length than the other compositions in the program and is defended before a committee of faculty examiners in a session open to all.

The ability to carry out such an investigation and reasonably to account for and defend its conclusions is an important aim of the program, and a successful Senior Thesis may be seen as a formal and public display that the student has begun to have such an ability in his own right.

The following titles are representative of Senior Theses:

  • The True Method of Procedure in Biological Science
  • Obedience and Its Relationship to Charity
  • The View of Human Nature Underlying the United States Constitution
  • The Role of Suffering in Redemption
  • A Defense of the Legitimacy of the Calculus
  • The Effect of Philosophy on Language: A Consideration of the Poetry of T. S. Eliot
  • Why Should Music Be Studied Mathematically?
  • A Consideration of the Difficulties of the Special Theory of Relativity
  • The Difference between Grammar and Logic
  • em>Whether the Marital Union Is a Fitting Symbol of the Union of Christ and the Church
  • The Atomic Theory in View of the Physics of Aristotle
  • Whether Men Can Be Good without Grace
  • A Consideration of the Ways in Which Galileo and Newton Use the Infinite in Understanding Motion
  • An Analysis and Critique of John Locke’s Theory of the End of Government
  • Is Tonal Music Natural?
  • When Is the Rational Soul Present in Man’s Generation?
  • The Natural Law in the Declaration of Independence: A Classical Interpretation

 

syllabus
Christopher Sebastian (’13)

“In our classroom discussions, we are not only given free rein to speak, but free rein to think. No question is off the table. Anything that can bring a more full understanding of the truth is welcomed and encouraged.”

– Christopher Sebastian (’13)

Livonia, Mich.

“I thank you so much for what you are doing at Thomas Aquinas College. I hope there will always be a Thomas Aquinas College. Your contributions to the Church and the world are marvelous to behold.”

– John Cardinal O’Connor (†)

Archbishop of New York

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