The creative artist reflects his understanding of nature when he portrays it in his art. Therefore, a right philosophy of nature is essential to his portrayal of Creation. This course, which assumes little prior knowledge of philosophy, shows how the use of reason can identify natural principles of the cosmos.  Such a philosophy of nature, developed by Aristotle and clarified by St. Thomas, deepens our appreciation of the world around us and of the findings of modern science. Through this new framework of understanding, a bridge between art and science is created.  Students will see that each deepens our sense of awe and wonder which fuels creativity for scientist and artist alike. 

The Philosophy of Nature






  1. Dodds, M.  The Philosophy of Nature.  Available at
  2. Dodds, M. Philosophical Anthropology. Avaliable at
  3. Searle, John.  Minds, Brains, and Science. Harvard University Press.  1984.
  4. Readings assignments for selected texts from Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas are available free online at and  
  5. Other reading assignments will be provided in each lesson’s folder as downloadable material.

Course outline:

  1. Introduction to the philosophical approach
  2. First principles of accidental change
  3. Substantial change
  4. Primary matter
  5. Substantial form
  6. Substances.  Mixed Bodies
  7. Causes
  8. Quantity and Continuum
  9. Motion I
  10. Motion II
  11. Alternative philosophical theories (ancient)
  12. Alternative philosophical theories (modern)
  13. Life
  14. The soul
  15. Vegetative life
  16. Living substances
  17. Sense and knowledge I
  18. Sense and knowledge II
  19. Sense and knowledge III
  20. Colors and reality
  21. Internal senses I
  22. Internal senses II
  23. The Intellect I
  24. The intellect II
  25. The intellect III
  26. Creativity
  27. Appetite and will I
  28. Appetite and will II
  29. Appetite and will III
  30. Mind and brain
  31. Mind and brain
  32. Human soul, self, and personhood I
  33. Human soul, self, and personhood II
  34. Catholic Church documents on human life
  35. Alternative conceptions of man I
  36. Alternative conceptions of man II
  37. Infinity
  38. Place and Space
  39. Time
  40. Special topic
  41. Special topic
  42. Special topic
  43. Special topic
  44. Special topic
  45. Special topic







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Pontifex University Course: The Philosophy of Nature-3 Payments of $300/month


Here is the class outline:

Welcome & Introduction to the Philosophical Approach
Welcome and Lecture 1
First principles of accidental change
Lecture 2
Substantial change
Lecture 3
Primary matter
Lecture 4
Substantial Form
Lecture 5
Platonic forms
Lecture 6
Ancient philosophical accounts of nature
Substances: reductionism and emergentism versus hylomorphism
Elements and the doctrine of "virtual presence" part 1
Elements and the doctrine of "virtual presence" part 2
Principles of Causality
Quantity and Continuum
The soul
Vegetative life
Living substances
Sense knowledge I
Sense knowledge II
Colors and reality
Internal senses I
Internal senses II
The Intellect I
The Intellect II
The Intellect III
Appetite and will I
Appetite and will II
Appetite and will III
Mind and Brain I
Mind and Brain II
Human soul, self, and personhood I
Human soul, self, and personhood II
Catholic Church documents on human life
Alternative conceptions of man I
Alternative conceptions of man II
Place and Space
Special Topic: Natural philosophy and the artist
Special Topic
Special Topic