Rorate Caeli

Crash Courses in Traditional Catholic Philosophy

From Patrick McCloskey of the International Society of Scholastics comes the following announcement:

The professors of the International Society of Scholastics are pleased to present Saturday morning online Crash Courses in traditional Catholic philosophy—part of our Sapientis Online Education program. These are 3-hour seminars on some of the most important scientific, ethical, and political questions of the day—all examined from the common sense perspective of Thomas Aquinas and the Thomistic tradition—including a philosophic defense of the Traditional Latin Mass.

We’re hoping to give you the chance to inherit the intellectual patrimony of the Church; and the foundation needed to defend her ethical, political, scientific principles by reason alone. Take a look at the topics:

January 16th, 2010 - What is the State and Why Should I Care? On the origin and nature of civil society

January 23rd, 2010 - Democracy or Tyranny? The legitimate and illegitimate forms of government

January 30th, 2010 - How Far Can the Government Go? On the limits of civil authority

February 6th, 2010 - Conservatives are Liberals? Classical liberalism and the corruption of the modern state

February 13th, 2010 - Is Capitalism evil?

February 20th, 2010 - What is Socialism?

February 27th, 2010 - What is the Natural Law and How Do I Defend It?

March 6th, 2010 - What is Education? A guide for homeschool parents

March 13th, 2010 - What is a Just War? And What Can’t You Do in One?

March 20th, 2010 - The Natural Superiority of Traditional Worship

March 27th, 2010 - Thumbscrews and Guillotines: on the morality of torture and the death penalty

April 17th, 2010 - Is Brain Death Really Death?

April 24th, 2010 - Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Right to Privacy’?

May 8th, 2010 - What is Culture and How Does I Gets Me Some?

May 15th, 2010Why Homosexual Marriage is a Contradiction in Terms

May 22nd, 2010 - The Moral and Immoral Roles of Insurance Companies

June 5th, 2010 - Is Rebellion Ever Justified?

June 12th, 2010 - Homeschooling: The rights of parents in regard to education

June 19th, 2010 - The Devil Made Me Do it: on cooperation in evil

June 26th, 2010 - Fundamental Issues in Bioethics

Fuller descriptions can be found on our website Just click on ‘Crash Course.’ New topics with special guest lecturers will be added periodically throughout the spring semester.

All Crash Courses are hosted live, online using our state-of-the-art video conferencing software, giving you the chance to interact with the professor and other students by voice chat and/or instant text messaging. Sapientis supports PCs, Macs, and smartphones like Blackberries and iPhones—so you can logon from almost anywhere, while waiting at the airport or sipping cappuccino at the local coffee shop.

Online seating is limited, so sign up early!

Why Thomistic philosophy? Here’s an argument from authority:

“And so we have desired that all who are engaged in the task of teaching philosophy and sacred theology be warned that they cannot depart from Aquinas in the slightest degree, especially in metaphysics, without great harm resulting therefrom...and if the doctrine of any other writer or saint was ever approved by Ourselves or Our predecessors with singular praise and the invitation or command to spread and to defend it were added to that commendation, it must be clearly understood that that doctrine is approved to the extent that it agreed with the principles of Aquinas or at least in no way contradicted them.” (Pope St. Pius X)

The International Society of Scholastics is an intellectual association founded in 2005 by students of the Roman Pontifical Universities. The ISS is committed to restoring the philosophic doctrines, didactic principles and scientific synthesis of the greatest masters of the classical universities, the Scholastics. We now have several hundred members representing 19 countries.

We hold Thomas Aquinas to be the paradigm of Scholastic scholars, and we apply ourselves to renewing the great tradition of Thomistic science forged by his Commentators throughout the centuries.

It is our purpose to reestablish the Scholastic synthesis in all speculative and practical fields as offering the normative model for rational inquiry and practical activity resulting in personal perfection, economic stability, and political faultlessness.

Sapientis is our online course of studies in science and ethics based entirely on the common sense principles of Scholastic Thomism. Its goal is to lead students to a complete understanding of the natural and artificial orders in the universe and of their moral duties resulting from this order. We aim to make Scholastic Thomism available in its classical, unadulterated form; educational materials which follow not only the content of Thomism, but its structure as well.

For more info, visit our website at or send us an email at