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Scholars study Thomistic philosophy at annual Mount workshop

‘Aquinas on Human Action and Virtue’ marks ninth year for flagship series
June 21, 2019

A speaker at the 9th annual Philosophy Workshop

Fr. James Brent, OP, of the Dominican House of Studies, presents “Aquinas on the Stages of Human Action” at the ninth annual Thomas Aquinas Philosophy Workshop on Thursday, June 20.

 

About 100 scholars from around the world explored the wisdom of 13th century Dominican friar St. Thomas Aquinas at Mount Saint Mary College’s ninth annual Philosophy Workshop, June 19 through 23.

 

The theme of this year’s conference was “Aquinas on Human Action and Virtue.” Presentations shed light on St. Thomas Aquinas’s views on distinguishing between moral and amoral acts, examining what makes an act voluntary, and discussing factors that undermine moral responsibility.

 

The scholars were welcomed to the conference by Dr. Jason N. Adsit, Mount Saint Mary College president; Charles Zola, assistant to the president for Mission Integration, associate professor of Philosophy, and director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute; and Fr. Dominic Legge, OP, director of the Thomistic Institute in Washington, D.C. The conference was organized by Zola and Fr. Legge.

 

“It’s wonderful for us to see a large and growing interest in Aquinas’s philosophy in contemporary academia, but there’s relatively few opportunities to get deep exposure to his philosophy,” Fr. Legge explained. And so, the yearly Mount conference has created a gathering point for the global Aquinas community, he said: “It’s a little bit like a family reunion every year.”

 

Since its inception nine years ago, the philosophy workshop has become “the preeminent event of its kind, drawing scholars from around the globe,” Zola explained. “It inspires great debate, advances research, and fosters community among those individuals studying these topics. We are honored to play host to this academic event at Mount Saint Mary College.”

 

Dr. Adsit was pleased to see the annual workshop continuing to thrive at the Mount year after year.

 

“This conference matters,” he said to the scholars. “It matters for the students who come here, for the wonderful intellectuals who come to deliver their talks, and it’s amazing for Mount Saint Mary College to be able to host this event. This college will continue to welcome you long into the future.”

 

A speaker at the 9th annual Philosophy WorkshopThis year’s presenters were Fr. James Brent, OP, of the Dominican House of Studies; Fr. Stephen Brock of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Edward Feser of Pasadena City College; Alfred Freddoso of the University of Notre Dame; Steven Long of Ave Maria University; John O’Callaghan of the University of Notre Dame; and Fr. Michael Sherwin, OP, of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

 

Right: Fr. Dominic Legge, OP, director of the Thomistic Institute in Washington, D.C., discusses Aquinas’s views on morals at the ninth annual philosophy workshop at Mount Saint Mary College. 

 

The workshop was sponsored by the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute (CDI), The Thomistic Institute of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and The Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture in Indiana.

 

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.

 

In addition to the annual philosophy workshop, the Catholic and Dominican Institute arranges free, public lectures at the college throughout the academic year.

 

Group photo of the Mount's president with workshop organizers

Left to right: Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, OP, a member of Mount Saint Mary College’s Board of Trustees; Dr. Jason N. Adsit, president of Mount Saint Mary College ;Fr. Dominic Legge, OP, director of the Thomistic Institute in Washington, D.C.; and Charles Zola, assistant to the president for Mission Integration, associate professor of Philosophy, and director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute. .