The Catholic University of America

Aug. 3, 2009

CUA to Host 2009 Fall Philosophy Lecture Series on Truth

Annual Talks to Honor Monsignor Robert Sokolowski


Monsignor Sokolowski teaches a class.

The School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America has announced its 42nd annual Fall Lecture Series, which is dedicated to Monsignor Robert Sokolowski, the Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy. The series will explore themes of truth, one of Monsignor Sokolowski's areas of expertise, in celebration of his work and his 75th birthday.

"Robert Sokolowski has long been recognized as an exceptionally learned scholar, particularly in Husserlian studies and ancient philosophy, and an insightful and creative philosopher with articulate and gracefully expressed contributions in all the areas of philosophical reflection," says Rev. Kurt Pritzl, dean of the School of Philosophy.

"Our fall 2009 lecture series brings together distinguished scholars to honor Monsignor Sokolowski in his 75th year in the most appropriate way, by lectures from many perspectives on the foundational though complex theme of 'the issue of truth,' " Father Pritzl says.

The event, this year titled "The Issue of Truth - In Honor of Robert Sokolowski," is one of the longest continuously running major philosophy lecture series in the country. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be presented by 12 scholars. The first lecture will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4, in Aquinas Hall Auditorium. To watch the lectures live, click here.

The participants in the series - colleagues, friends and admirers of Monsignor Sokolowski's work - are themselves outstanding scholars and thinkers, says Father Pritzl. The series opens with a lecture by John McCarthy, CUA professor of philosophy, whose dissertation on Husserl Monsignor Sokolowski directed. It will conclude with a lecture by Monsignor John Wippel, Theodore Basselin Professor of Philosophy at Catholic University and a scholar in Thomistic philosophy. Monsignor Wippel studied with Monsignor Sokolowski at CUA and the two have been colleagues in the School of Philosophy for their entire academic careers.

All the lectures will be held Fridays at 2 p.m. in the Aquinas Hall Auditorium located on CUA's campus at 620 Michigan Ave., N.E. The dates, names of the speakers and the titles of their lectures follow.

  • Sept. 4: John McCarthy, associate dean of philosophy at Catholic University, "Hume's Curious Love of Truth"
  • Sept. 11: John Brough, professor of philosophy, Georgetown University, "Photography, Film and the Phenomenology of the Human Person"
  • Sept. 18: Rev. Guy Mansini, O.S.B., associate professor and chair of the Department of Systematic Theology, St. Merinrad's Seminary, Indiana, "Christianity and Plotinus"
  • Sept. 25: Alasdair MacIntyre, senior research professor of philosophy, University of Notre Dame, "Ends and Endings"
  • Oct 2: Alva Noë, professor of philosophy, University of California, Berkeley, "On Over-Intellectualizing the Intellect"
  • Oct. 9: Daniel Maher, philosophy lecturer, Assumption College, " 'To Signify Not One is To Signify Nothing': Aristotle on Unity and Contradiction"
  • Oct. 16: Francis Slade, professor emeritus of philosophy, Saint Francis College, "Philosophy and Political Form"
  • Oct. 23: Richard Cobb-Stevens, professor of philosophy, Boston College, "The Contemporary Relevance of Husserl's The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology"
  • Oct. 30: James Hart, professor emeritus of religious studies, Indiana University, "The Singularity of Love"
  • Nov. 6: John Rist, professor emeritus, University of Toronto, and visiting professor, Istituto Patristico Augustinianum, Rome, "We Don't Do Truth"
  • Nov. 20: John Drummond, Robert Southwell, S.J. Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, Fordham University, "Having the Right Attitudes"
  • Dec. 4: Monsignor John Wippell, Theodore Basselin Professor of Philosophy at Catholic University, "Aquinas on Creation: A Philosophical or Theological Issue?"

The School of Philosophy is one of only three philosophy faculties in the country organized as a separate school, along with those at Cornell and the University of Southern California. The school is unique for courses and scholarship grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition with an abiding concern for the relation between faith and reason, the intelligibility of nature and the possibility of an ethics and political philosophy based on rational insight into human nature.

The lecture series, offered each year since 1967, is made possible by a grant from the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation and support from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and the George Dougherty Foundation. For additional information, contact the Office of the Dean, School of Philosophy, at 202-319-5259, e-mail, or go to

MEDIA: For details about covering the lectures, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.