January 11, 2017
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
William Carroll, a theology faculty member of the University of
Oxford, will present “The Philosophy of Nature and Contemporary
Science: Why Thomas Aquinas Remains Relevant” on Thursday, February
2 at 7 p.m. at Mount Saint Mary College.
The free public talk will take place in Room 218 of the Mount’s
Dominican Center, 330 Powell Ave., Newburgh, N.Y.
The lecture aims to answer a simple question: Is there any value
for contemporary science in what St. Thomas Aquinas claims as
principles for the philosophy of nature?
“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,” explained
Carroll. “Thomas’ philosophy of nature does not replace the
discoveries of the natural sciences, nor do these discoveries
render obsolete this philosophy of nature.”
Carroll’s 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.
The author of “Creation and Science” (London, 2011) and several
other books, Carroll has given lectures at the Jubilee Session of
the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and at the Vatican Observatory’s
Institute on Astrophysics. 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
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.
Carroll has a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A.
and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
The lecture is sponsored by the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican
Institute (CDI). CDI promotes the Mount’s heritage of St. Dominic;
advances the Dominican charism of study and service; provides a
forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues; and enhances
Catholic and Jewish dialogue. The Institute welcomes persons of
varied faiths and acknowledges different religious traditions as
essential to the college’s intellectual and spiritual life.