April 21-22: Join us online for these Keynotes for the workshop Practical Truth: Reflections on the Aristotelian Tradition

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Join us online for these Keynotes of Practical Truth: Reflections on the Aristotelian Tradition:

IS PRACTICAL TRUTH A CHIMERA? QUESTIONS FOR ANSCOMBE
Anselm Mueller, Trier University | University of South Carolina
4:30 pm EST, April 21, 2017

THOMAS AQUINAS, THE BEARER OF PRACTICAL TRUTH, AND THE RATIONALITY OF ACTION
Stephen Brock, Holy Cross University | University of South Carolina
4:00 pm EST April 22, 2017
For more information about this workshop including the speaker list, schedule, and to live-stream the keynotes, visit https://virtue.uchicago.edu/aristotle

https://virtue.uchicago.edu/aristotle

Live streaming from UofSC April 21-22: Stephen Brock and Anselm Mueller

If you’re not able to attend, join us online April 21-22 for each of the two keynotes of the workshop “Practical Truth: Reflections on the Aristotelian Tradition”. We’ll be live streaming the two keynotes from the University of South Carolina at  https://virtue.uchicago.edu/aristotle

brock_1Stephen Brock, Holy Cross University – “Thomas Aquinas, the Bearer of Practical Truth, and the Rationality of Action”

Interpreters of what Aristotle calls practical truth differ about what its bearer is or what it is properly said of.  As a result, they also differ about the distinction between practical and theoretical truth.  It is generally agreed that the bearer of theoretical truth is an assertion or a judgment about some matter, and that such truth consists in the judgment’s describing the matter correctly.  But while some hold that the same account applies to practical truth, others hold that its bearer is an action, and that what it consists in is the action’s conformity with right desire.  Thomas Aquinas thinks the bearer of practical truth is a judgment.  In this paper I present his position, consider some objections on behalf of the opposing view, and suggest what he would think is at stake the issue.

Stephen Brock’s keynote will be April 21 at 4:30 pm eastern time.

11Muellerevent_20160411_2364Anselm Mueller, Trier University – “Is Practical Truth a Chimera? Questions for Anscombe”

In a number of papers, Anscombe raises the “great question”: What is practical truth (PT)? Her answers are not elaborate but clear enough to raise further questions such as: Does PT have truth-conditions? What can be rendered practically true, and by what? – What Anscombe calls PT appears to be secured by actions’ being implemented in conclusion of a valid practical inference in which you derive a way of acting from good ends. But whose truth can be thus secured? If it is practical thought, its PT will require two seemingly separable conditions: goodness of ends, and implementation of the practical conclusion. This would deprive the notion of PT of the unity Anscombe’s explorations insinuate. If, on the other hand, PT is exhibit by actions, how can it also be produced by implementation of practical thought (= action!)? – A solution to the problems I have hinted at is suggested by consideration of the fundamental teleology of human nature.

Anselm Mueller’s keynote will be April 22 at 4:00 pm eastern time.

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Practical Truth: Reflections on the Aristotelian Tradition | UofSC April 21-22, 2017

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Free and open to the public | Registration (required): click here

Contact Person: Jennifer A. Frey

The term ‘practical truth’ can be traced back to Aristotle. Although there has been much recent work into the importance of the concept of practical knowledge for our understanding of human action and ethics, very little work has been done on whether there is a distinctively practical notion of truth that accompanies it. This workshop brings together historians and contemporary theorists to better understand the nature and importance of practical truth–both for our understanding of the Aristotelian tradition and for contemporary moral theory.

Keynotes:

Stephen Brock, Holy Cross University

Anselm Mueller, Trier University

Speakers:

Samuel Baker, University of South Alabama

Patricio Fernandez, University of Navarra

Jennifer A. Frey, University of South Carolina

Matthias Haase, University of Chicago

Adrian Haddock, University of Stirling

Christiana Olfert, Tufts University

Sergio Tenenbaum, University of Toronto

For more information or to register, visit https://virtue.uchicago.edu/aristotle

Jan 15 deadline: Virtue, Happiness, & Self-transcendence Summer Seminar

June 18  – 23 (Sun – Sat) | University of Chicago

Applications, including letters, must be complete by January 15, 2017.

Click here for application information and submission portal.

Fr. Stephen Brock  •  Jennifer A. Frey  •  Dan P. McAdams  • Candace Vogler


Now in our second year, our 2017 summer seminar, “Virtue, Happiness, and Self-transcendence”  is intended for outstanding middle- and advanced-level graduate students and early career researchers in the areas of Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology/Religious Studies. Our aim is to involve participants in our innovative and collaborative research framework within these three fields, and to provide an engaged environment to deepen and enliven their own research.

The Seminar is highly intensive, meeting twice a day for one week on the topics below and continues in conversations informally over meals.

Participants are housed on the University of Chicago campus and eat communally in a nearby dining hall.

The 2017 seminar is supported by  a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation and our institutional partner the Hyde Park Institute, and includes lodging, meals, tuition, and reimbursement up to $500  for travel. Accepted participants are asked to pay a $200 registration fee.


Fr. Stephen Brock session topics

Session 1: Friendship. The topic of friendship takes up approximately a fifth of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (Books VIII and IX).  Aristotle judges friendship an essential factor in human happiness, and moral virtue an essential condition of true friendship.  And although he does not use the expression “self-transcendence,” he famously defines a friend as “another self.”  Thomas Aquinas fully endorses Aristotle’s account of friendship, and he gives it a fundamental role in his own account of the virtue of charity.  In this session we will look at some of the more salient passages in Aquinas’s commentary on Books VIII and IX of the Ethics.

Session 2: Law. According to Thomas Aquinas, all law tends toward constituting friendship, either among human beings, or between human beings and God (Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 99, a. 1, ad 2).  He also says that law regards “common happiness” (I-II, q. 90, a. 2), and that it aims to render those who are subject to it virtuous (I-II, q. 92, a. 1).  Aquinas’s conception of law thus brings together the themes of virtue, happiness, and self-transcendence.  In this session we will examine his general notion of law, his way of distinguishing various kinds of law, and especially his account of natural law.

Jennifer A. Frey session topics

Session 1: Self-Love and Self-Transcendence. A great deal of empirical and humanistic research suggests that human beings are happier and find their lives more meaningful when connected to common goods that go beyond the self.  The broadly Aristotelian philosophical tradition also suggests that self-love is the foundation of a happy and meaningful life.  This session will address how self-love and self-transcendence are mutually illuminating concepts, and how each can figure in an account of virtue.

Session 2: Happiness and Human Action. Happiness is a neglected topic in action theory.  In this session, we will explore the role that happiness plays in the account of human action advanced by Thomas Aquinas, with an eye to its relevance for contemporary questions and debates about the nature of practical reason, practical knowledge, desire, and practical intelligibility.

Dan McAdams session topics

Session 1:  Psychological perspectives on virtue and morality.  We will consider classic and contemporary understandings of what it means to live a good life, as expressed in the literature of empirical psychology.  Our emphasis will be on developmental conceptions, which lay out a series of psychosocial stages, tasks, experiences, or challenges that shape human virtue over the life course.  One increasingly influential perspective on the current scene suggests that virtue and morality may be construed as following three developmental lines over time:  the development of (1) moral traits and habits (the person as a social actor), (2) moral values and goals (the person as a motivated agent), and (3) a moral vocation in life (the person as an autobiographical author).

Session 2:  A virtue aimed at transcending and expanding the self:  Generativity.  In that the survival of the human species has traditionally been regarded as an ultimate concern, it is difficult to think of a more important virtue in human life than a commitment to promoting the survival, development, and well-being of future generations.  Erik Erikson named this virtue generativity.  We will explore classic theory and contemporary psychological research on the concept of generativity.  We will pay special consideration to the paradox that lies at the  heart of the concept – the contradictory idea that generativity is both narcissistic and altruistic, that a commitment to promoting future generations promotes the expansion of the self even as it challenges the generative adult to transcend the self.

Candace Vogler session topics

Virtue, Happiness, and Common Good.


Applications, including letters, must be complete by January 15, 2017.

Click here for application information and submission portal.

Now accepting applications: “Virtue, Happiness, & Self-Transcendence” Summer Seminar 2017

Chicago Cultural Center Chandelier and Tiffany Dome
Photo by Chris Smith.

Summer Seminar 2017: “Virtue, Happiness, and Self-transcendence”

June 18 (arrive) – 23, 2017

University of Chicago, Hyde Park campus

The Seminar is intended for outstanding middle- and advanced-level graduate students and early career researchers in the areas of Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology/Religious Studies. Our aim is to involve participants in our innovative and collaborative research framework within these three fields, and to provide an engaged environment to deepen and enliven their own research.

The Seminar is highly intensive, meeting twice a day for one week and continues in conversations informally over meals.

Participants are housed on the University of Chicago campus and eat communally in a nearby dining hall.

The 2017 seminar is supported by  a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation and our institutional partner the Hyde Park Institute, and includes lodging, meals, tuition, and reimbursement up to $500  for travel. Accepted participants are asked to pay a $200 registration fee.

Click here for more information, including faculty, topics, and how to apply.

Video: Aquinas’s Third Way of Proving a God: Logic or Love? | Fr. Stephen L. Brock at Lumen Christi

Fr. Stephen L. Brock is our Spring 2017 Visiting Scholar and on the faculty of our June 2017 Summer Seminar, “Virtue, Happiness, & Self-transcendence.” In doing a little internet surfing about him, we came across a lecture he gave on February 5, 2015 at the University of Chicago, sponsored by our institutional partner Lumen Christi. Bringing the small world concept closer, he’s introduced by our very own principal investigator Candace Vogler.

Fr. Stephen L. Brock is Professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome. He is a member of the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas Aquinas and is the author of Action & Conduct: Thomas Aquinas and the Theory of Action. He has written numerous articles on various aspects of the thought of Thomas Aquinas, and he has edited several collections including Thomas Aquinas and the Subject of Metaphysics. Fr. Brock leads week long seminars for graduate students in Rome on the thought of Thomas Aquinas.