Friday, April 20, 2007

Summer Natural Philosophy Events

The homepage for the Institute for the Study of Nature has been newly updated and amplified. Among the new offerings is its first summer institute and conference in mid-June. The institute is a multi-day tutorial for science students on “Does Nature Act for an End?: Teleology Reconsidered.” The conference is on “The Nature of Nature” and the Institute is accepting paper proposals until May 11. Check out the Institute's webpage “Articles, essays, etc.,” which features a number of important natural philosophy papers you can download free of charge.

The Nature Institute is holding its annual summer course "Coming Alive to Nature: Practicing the Goethean Approach to Science and Nature Study" in late June. A friend tells me that the Nature Institute takes a Platonic approach to nature. You may have read the excellent essays of Institute member Steve Talbott in The New Atlantis.

The Institute for Advanced Physics is having its fifth summer conference in late July. As always, participation is for members only, but I encourage those qualified to go through the process of becoming members. I always learn a lot at these conferences and enjoy talking to so many great people, especially the wise and serene Fr. Benedict Ashley.

Now's the time to start planning your summer activities. I'm planning to attend all three events. Will I perhaps see you at one?

One additional event but in the fall: The American Jacques Maritain Association meeting is in late October, but paper proposals are due June 15th. (The Association has yet to post the conference information on the web, but when they do, it will be here.) The meeting title is "The Majesty and Poverty of Metaphysics," which I believe is the original title for what we know in English as Maritain's Degrees of Knowledge.

As the conference flier says, central themes of the book include "philosophical realism, philosophy and empirical knowledge, metaphysical knowledge, mystical experience, and speculative and practical knowing. Papers on subjects of metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of human nature and science, philosophical theology, and ethics would all be highly appropriate. We also welcome papers on the work of cognate thinkers who were known to Maritain or who profited from his work." Last meeting centered around philosophy of nature. I'm hoping to see more papers on the same subject, as well as the epistemological and ontological status of mathematical entities.

1 comment:

Mary Tim said...

I have fond childhood memories of Father Ashley as he regularly shared Thanksgiving & other dinners with us when I was a child (when he was in River Forest). He and my father Herbert Ratner shared University of Chicago days together & continued to be good friends throughout my father's life. And Father Ashley gave the homily at my father's memorial service in Feb 1998. I think my father would have liked your blog & would have shared many of your opinions. Thus I am thinking you might be interested in the just published paperback _Nature, the Physician, and the Family: Selected Writings of Herbert Ratner, M.D. now available at Sincerely, Mary Tim Baggott