Catholic and Dominican Institute

The Philosophy of Nature and Contemporary Science

February 02, 2017 7:00 PM
Kaplan Family Library DC 218

On Thursday, February 2, Dr. Bill Carroll will present his lecture, “The Philosophy of Nature and Contemporary Science: Why Thomas Aquinas Remains Relevant.”

Is there any value for contemporary science in what Thomas Aquinas claims as principles for the philosophy of nature? The argument I will advance is that Thomas does offer crucial insights about the world the empirical sciences describe, especially concerning what natural substances are, how they differ from machines, as well as the distinctions between living and non-living entities. Thomas’ philosophy of nature does not replace the discoveries of the natural sciences, nor do these discoveries render obsolete this philosophy of nature.

This is a FYE College Connection event.

Dr. William Carroll

Dr. William E. Carroll is a Research Fellow in Theology and Science at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford and a member of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Oxford. His research and teaching concern the reception of Aristotelian science in mediaeval Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, and the development of the doctrine of creation, and the encounter between Galileo and the Inquisition. He has also written extensively on the ways in which mediaeval discussions of the relationship among the natural sciences, philosophy, and theology can be useful in contemporary questions arising from developments in biology and cosmology.

He has given plenary lectures at the Jubilee Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (2000) and at the Vatican Observatory's Institute on Astrophysics (2002). In May 2007 he spoke at a symposium on the philosophy of cosmology held at the Royal Society in London. During the commemorations of the Darwin Year (2010), he was a plenary speaker at conferences at the Lateran University in Rome, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Vienna. In October 2010 he spoke at a conference on creation jointly organized in Moscow by the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church. Later this month he will be speaking at an international conference on science and religion in Mexico City.

He is the author of Creation and Science (London, 2011); Galileo: Science and Faith (London, 2009); La Creación y las Ciencias Naturales: Actualidad de Santo Tomás de Aquino (Santiago, Chile, 2003), and co-author with Steven Baldner of Aquinas on Creation (Toronto, 1997).

He has a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Dr. William Carroll