Audio: Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP | Metaphysics: Philosophy as Wisdom

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Our scholar and theologian Fr. Thomas Joseph White talks about the classical idea of philosophy as wisdom, and the notion of a hierarchy of being in the universe in accord with the modern sciences. The talk also contains a consideration of objections that might arise from Kant, Heidegger or Neo-Darwinianism.
This lecture is part 3 of a 3-part series on an introduction to metaphysics and shared by one of our partners, the Thomistic Institute.

 

Audio: Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP | Metaphysics: Transcendentals and the Existence of God

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Stained Glass window in the Church of Braine-le-Chateau, Wallonia, Belgium, depicting Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Our scholar and theologian Fr. Thomas Joseph White talks about about Aquinas’ views of the transcendentals: being, unity, truth, goodness, beauty, and how they relate to more ultimate questions about the existence of God, in this Soundcloud shared by one of our partners, the Thomistic Institute.
This lecture is part 2 of a 3-part series on an introduction to metaphysics.

Audio: Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP | “Introduction to Metaphysics”

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Our scholar and theologian Fr. Thomas Joseph White talks about about Aristotelian conception of substance and how it might be related to the perspectives of the modern sciences in this Soundcloud shared by one of our partners, the Thomistic Institute. This lecture is part 1 of a 3-part series on an introduction to metaphysics.
 

Audio: “Happiness without Religion? A Philosophical Debate”

Audio: “Happiness without Religion? A Philosophical Debate”

On September 10, 2016, Principal Investigators Jennifer A. Frey and Candace Vogler and Scholar Fr. Thomas Joseph White debated “Happiness without Religion? A Philosophical Debate” at the Catholic Center at NYU. R. Reno of First Things moderated and offered critique.

Thank you to the Thomistic Institute for sponsoring this event and making these recordings available on SoundCloud.

 


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Photos: “Happiness without Religion? A Philosophical Debate”| Catholic Center at NYU

We had a full house for our September 10, 2016 session, “Happiness without Religion? A Philosophical Debate” at the Catholic Center at NYU. Moderated by R.R. Reno of First Things, presentations were made by Jennifer A. Frey, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina and Co-Principal Investigator, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life; Candace Vogler, David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago and Co-Principal Investigator, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life; and Thomas Joseph White, OP, Executive Director, Thomistic Institute Dominican House of Studies, and Scholar, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.

Thank you to  the Thomistic Institute for sponsoring this event, and to photographer George Goss for these wonderful photos!

TODAY 3pm “Happiness without Religion? A Philosophical Debate”|Catholic Center at NYU

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  • Candace Vogler, David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago and Co-Principal Investigator, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life
  • R.R. Reno, First Things
  • Jennifer A. Frey, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina and Co-Principal Investigator, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life
  • Thomas Joseph White, OP, Executive Director, Thomistic InstituteDominican House of Studies, and Scholar, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life

Free and open to the public.

Registration

Happiness without religion? Vogler and Frey weigh in before debate

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Candace Vogler and Jennifer A. Frey at the 2016 Summer Seminar “Virtue & Happiness”. Photo by Valerie Wallace.

Our principal investigators and one of our scholars will debate the idea of happiness without religion this coming Saturday. If you’re in New York, we hope you can join us!

 

Candace Vogler explains, “Our topic is whether a (presumably mature) human being (presumably with her wits about her) needs religion in order to be happy—at least, happy in her embodied mortal life.”

 

Vogler expressed that, “largely from ignorance, in discussing religion I will have in mind socially organized spiritual practice that tends to be monotheistic, whether or not it operates with a shared body of doctrine and whether or not its practitioners produce theology or philosophy in connection with their religious practices.

 

“The second place that I have a hitch is around questions about happiness. [For example,] although thinkers far greater than I have held that people in general pursue happiness, it is not clear what sorts of things might be involved in pursuing happiness understood in any of the usual psychological senses (one worries that the quickest line of pursuit will be pharmacological). Neither is it clear that flourishing accounts are picking out a single sort of target to home in on.

 

Vogler concludes, “Basically, if you do not think that there is a core need to be right with divinity built into human life, and you notice that religious practice can be very hard and can make you unpopular, it is hard to see the link between religion and happiness, at least in terms of the varieties of religious practice I have encountered.”

 

Jennifer A. Frey commented that she “understands religion as a virtue, and since the virtues are necessary for human happiness, I see this as a question of which virtues are part of the happy human life. That’s right in our wheelhouse. And since religion concerns what we owe to God, I think it relates to self-transcendence, since God is that which utterly transcends us, and insofar as we engage in the acts that give God what is owed–due honor and reverence, for instance–it is a question of the role of self-transcendence in the happy life as well.”

 

Frey continues, “Ultimately I say you can be non-trivially happy without religion. Whether you can be perfectly happy without it is a separate question, and I don’t commit myself either way.”

 
The debate is Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 3pm, at the Catholic Center, New York University, 236 Thompson Street, New York, NY.

The full lineup is:

  • Jennifer A. Frey, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina and Co-Principal Investigator, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life
  • R.R. Reno, First Things
  • Candace Vogler, David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago and Co-Principal Investigator, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life
  • Thomas Joseph White, OP, Executive Director, Thomistic Institute, Dominican House of Studies, and Scholar, Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life

 

This event is free and open to the public. Register at thomisticinstitute.org/upcoming-events

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