Catholic and Dominican Institute

Fifth Annual Philosophy Workshop

June 04, 2015June 07, 2015
Dominican Center

The Fifth Annual Philosophy Workshop will be held at Mount Saint Mary College on June 4-7, 2015.

Aquinas and the Philosophy of Nature

This workshop will explore the key principles in Aquinas’ philosophy of nature. How does St. Thomas understand nature and causation? Is his approach compatible with those of the modern sciences? What, for Aquinas, does it mean to understand the particular character of human nature, and how do material realities themselves suggest the necessary existence of immaterial realities (the human soul and God)?

Required Reading for Students:

  • Henry J. Koren, Introduction to the Philosophy of Nature (where available in libraries)
  • David Oderberg, Real Essentialism (Routledge, 2008)
  • Lawrence Dewan, OP, The Importance of Substance,
  • Aquinas: Commentary on Boethius’ De Trinitate, q. 5.; On the Principles of Nature; Commentary on the Physics, Book VII, lec. 1-2.; Disputed Questions on the Soul, qq. 1-2, 12-14. For all of these texts, see

Thursday, June 4 (for graduate students only)

  • Degrees of Knowledge: Philosophy of Nature and Modern Science (William Carroll)
  • Form and Matter (James Brent, OP)
  • Change and Causality: Actuality and Potentiality (Alfred Freddoso)

Friday, June 5

  • Material Parts and Prime Matter (Michael Gorman)
  • Inanimate vs. Animate Nature (Jennifer Frey)
  • The Human Soul (Edward Feser)

Saturday, June 6

  • Human Nature (Candace Vogler)
  • Arguments for Immaterial Nature (John O'Callaghan)
  • Degrees of Perfection in Nature? The Hierarchy of Forms and Modern Cosmology (Fr. Michael Dodds)

Presenters for 2015

  • William Carroll, PhD, Oxford University
  • James Brent, OP, The Catholic University of America
  • Alfred Freddoso, PhD, University of Notre Dame
  • Michael Gorman, PhD, The Catholic University of America
  • Jennifer Frey, PhD, University of South Carolina
  • Edward Feser, PhD, Pasadena College
  • Candace Vogler, PhD, University of Chicago
  • John O’Callaghan, PhD, University of Notre Dame
  • Father Michael Dodds, OP, The Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology

Register online today!