Actus and Potentia: From Philosophy of Nature to Metaphysics (2015). This
is my contribution to the 2015 Aquinas Philosophy Workshop at Mt. St.
Mary College in Newburgh, NY. The theme of the workshop was philosophy
of nature, and it was chock full of good presentations -- by Fr. James
Brent, OP, Bill Carroll, Ed Feser, Mike Gorman, Fr. Michael Dodds, OP,
Chris and Jennifer Frey, Candace Vogler, and John O'Callaghan, along
with three excellent graduate-student presentations. Frank
Beckwith and Rob Koons made
excellent contributions to the open discussions. This was the fifth of
these annual workshops, and attendance this year was the most ever. We
may have reached our limit. I also got to see briefly Carson
Daly, a junior faculty member with me at Notre Dame in the 1980's
and at the time president of Mt. St. Mary College.
Charlie Rice: an Un-eulogy (2015). This is a short piece for the March 19, 2015 edition of the Irish Rover
commemorating a truly great man and a truly great family. With my mentors Ralph
and Charlie gone, it occurred to me that it really was time for me to retire.
Vindication of St. Thomas: Thomism and Contemporary Anglo-American
is my contribution to a July 2014 conference called 'A Dialogue between
Philosophy and Theology', sponsored by the Dominican
School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. My commentator was my
good friend Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP, who is also 'featured' in the
paper, along with Ed Feser (who was also there), David Oderberg, and
Lawrence Feingold. A less technical version of this paper, adapted for
an audience consisting mainly of Catholic undergraduates and more
sensitive to curricular matters, was delivered as the Scherer Lecture
at the University of Dallas in March 2016. That version opened by quoting the last paragraph of the first chapter of Chesterton's Heretics. It's the story of the lampost and is especially worth pondering today.
Thomas on the Philosophical Intelligibility and Plausibility of the
Doctrine of Divine Providence: Situating Summa Contra Gentiles
3, chap. 64 (2014).
This is a cleaned-up version of a presentation I made at the
Aquinas Philosophy Workshop at Mt. St. Mary College in
Newburgh, NY. It was preceded (conceptually) by
(a) presentations by Fr. James Brent, OP and Ed Feser on what
call herein the first stage of St. Thomas's natural theology, i.e.,
arguments for God's existence, (b) presentations
Thomas Joseph White, OP and Fr. Michael Dodds, OP on aspects
the second stage of the natural theology, viz., divine simplicity and
immutability, and (c) presentations by Candace
Carroll, and Reinhard Huetter on aspects of the third stage of
natural theology, viz., God's goodness, the act of creation, and God as
final cause of the universe and of each human being. A good time was
had by all.
to the Problem of Free Will and Divine Causality
is an outline of a presentation I made at the
2013 Aquinas Philosophy Workshop in Newburgh, NY. It's been a
since I worked on this material, and I don't break any new ground --
except perhaps for an indication that in my past work on these
topics I wasn't sensitive enough to something that I have
come to appreciate more fully, viz., the manifold
the doctrine of divine transcendence.
My Soul, There's Animals and Animals: Some Thomistic
Reflections on Contemporary Philosophy of Mind (2012, 2014). Note
of introduction: The intended audience for this paper is
Catholic graduate students and young Ph.D.’s in philosophy and
theology, though everyone is of course welcome to read it.
paper was written in three stages. The first version was
delivered in October, 2010 at the Dominican House of Studies in
Washington, D.C. The revised version was delivered at the
inaugural Thomistic workshop at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh,
NY in June 2011. The workshop was co-sponsored by the
and Dominican Institute at Mount Saint Mary College and by The
Thomistic Institute of the Dominican House of Studies in
Washington. Finally, a new section on reductionism was added
the second Thomistic workshop at Mount Saint Mary College in June 2012,
and the whole paper was revised again. In August 2014 I made
some changes to the first part, which was
published as "No Room at the Inn: Contemporary Philosophy of Mind Meets
Thomistic Philosophical Anthropology" by the journal Acta Philosophica
(Università Santa Croce, Roma).
Father Thomas Joseph White on
Wisdom in the Face of Modernity (2011). This is a
brief comment on Thomas Joseph White, OP's Wisdom in the
Face of Modernity
Press of Ave Maria University, 2009). I gave it at
annual meeting of the American Maritain Society in October,
A Public School in a Catholic
The Core Curriculum at Notre Dame (2010). This
is a talk that I gave
at the Sycamore Trust Breakfast on June 5, 2010 during the annual Notre
Dame Alumni Weekend. (Also available on YouTube)
Dame and the Future of Catholic Higher Education (2010). Written
version of a shorter lecture given at the University of St. Thomas,
Houston, under the sponsorship of the John Paul II Forum -- June 9,
to Today's Catholic,
Feb. 6, 2010, never published.
letter was written in the hopes of correcting a certain
interpretation of the events of Spring 2009 by the president of the
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
Done, Good and Faithful Servant, a tribute to
McInerny, The Irish
no. 10, February 8, 2010. (Reprinted as "The Undergraduate
Teacher," in O
Rare Ralph McInerny: Stories and Reflections on a Legendary
Notre Dame Professor, edited and with an introduction by
Christopher Kaczor (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's
pp. xiii-xxxi in What
Happened to Notre Dame? by Charles E. Rice
J. Freddoso (Introduction)
(South Bend, IN: St. Augustine's Press, 2009). (This file
contains my Introduction along with the front material and first
chapter of Charlie's book. The title link is to the
page for the book.)
to Today's Catholic
2009). This letter was written to the
newspaper of the
Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese in the wake of the 2009 Commencement mess.
at the Palm Sunday Prayer Rally (April 5, 2009). This
talk was given at a prayer rally in response to the University of Notre
Dame's announcement that it would honor President Obama in person at
its May 2009 Commencement Ceremony.
of Romanus Cessario, O.P, A Short History of Thomism (Washington,
D.C.: Catholic University Press, 2005), The Thomist 72
(2008), pp. 147-154. This review of a spiffy little book
contains a few remarks at the end about the future of Thomism.
and Demons (2005). Faith
Essentials (Online Journal of the
Association of Students at Catholic Colleges), January 2005.
a Way of Life. This essay appears
in William E.
Mann, ed., The Blackwell Guide to
Blackwell Publishing Co.,
One Way to Understand the Significance of Blessed Josemaría
short paper was
delivered in June 2002 at
a conference entitled "The Teaching of Blessed Josemaría
Implications for a New Milennium," and was given as a comment
paper entitled "Work: A Path to Holiness" by Janne Haaland
of the University of Oslo.
conference was held just three months before the canonization of the
founder of Opus Dei.
Church and Art. This
is a brief commentary on
paragraphs 2, 12, and 13 of Pope John Paul II's Letter to
It appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of Logos,
journal of the Catholic Studies Program of the University of St. Thomas
in St. Paul, MN.
John Kavanaugh, SJ, Who Count as Persons?
review that appeared in the January-February 2002 issue of the Houston
News, Your Soul Hasn't Died Quite Yet --A
I read at a plenary session of the 2001 meeting of the American
Catholic Philosophical Association. I link it here because of
relevance to faith/reason issues.
Ratio: A 'Radical' Vision of Intellectual Inquiry --
a slightly revised version of a paper I read at
Maritain Society Meetings in October 2000. (This version was
delivered as the 2002 Edith Stein lecture at the Franciscan University
of Steubenville.) There is some overlap with "Whose Standards of
Excellence?" in the discussion of modernism and Nietzscheanism, but
this paper begins with an exposition of Pope John Paul's conception of
inquiry and also includes a section on pragmatism.
Standards of Excellence? Secularity and the Mission of the
University -- an earlier version
of this paper was
presented to a conference on
"Faith and Reason and a University's Stated Purposes," sponsored by the
American Public Philosophy Institute, March 1999. The paper still needs
work, and so comments are welcome.
Church in the 21st Century, Catholic
Dossier (November-December 1998).
Difference of Opinion,
Resources (September 6-12,
Roles for Catholic Philosophers (1998)
Message of Ex Corde Ecclesiae,
Catholic Register, March
Vision of the Church in the 21st Century
November 13, 1996 I participated in a Common Ground discussion. (Sadly
and ironically, this was the very night during which Cardinal Bernadin
died.) Each of the panelists prepared a brief (seven-minute) talk on
the Church in the 21st century. Here's mine.
Problem with Undergraduate Education at Notre Dame (1996).
the Catholic University: A Response (1995):
Fall of 1995 I was invited by the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars to
give a reply to a paper by Fr. Robert Sokolowski entitled "Church
Tradition and the Catholic University".
Some Thoughts on our Present Predicament (1993):
Fall of 1993 I addressed a group known as the Conversation on the
Character of Notre Dame. My remarks were a comment on a paper by
Lawrence Cunningham of the Theology Department on the meanings of the