Thomas Aquinas & The Mind/Body Problem, June 21-24, 2012, Sponsored by the Thomistic Institute

June 18, 2012

On June 21, 2012, the Thomistic Institute and the Catholic and Dominican Institute at Mount Saint Mary College will co-sponsor their second annual conference.  Last summer’s conference focused on Aquinas and contemporary philosophy.  This year’s conference will address the issue of the mind-body problem from a Thomistic perspective.  The conference will be held on the campus of Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY. The mind-body distinction has played a decisive role in philosophy from the modern period until the present. Many current philosophies of mind are still heavily influenced by various forms of dualism, physicalism and reductive materialism. As a counterpoint to these modern tendencies, the sapiential unity of Thomistic psychology offers a valuable perspective. The union of body and soul in Thomistic thought is reflective of a deeper integration between experience and reality, reason and emotion, physiology truth and desire. This conference will explore Aquinas’ understanding of the person by a diversity of philosophical approaches, asking the question of the perennial relevance of his contribution. The first day of the conference is devoted especially to graduate students, either in philosophy, or adjacent disciplines. The second and third days of the event will combine presentations by philosophers with times of discussion and debate.

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