This March, the IPC-Facultés Libres de Philosophie et de Psychologie celebrates its 50th anniversary with a colloquium in honor the teachers of its own teachers, and inspiration for its pedagogical program, Charles De Koninck and Msgr. Maurice Dionne. The colloquium will take place from March 12–14, 2020. I’ve the honor of being one of the speakers at the conference. The presentation’s title and topic are below.
Charles De Koninck and the Cosmos of the Natural Sciences
In his 1941 essay “Les sciences expérimentales sont-elles distinctes de la philosophie de la nature?”, Charles De Koninck argued that the philosophy of nature and the natural sciences are not formally distinct. Rather, the latter are the natural, dialectical extensions of the former. He developed this qualified continuity thesis throughout the remainder of his career. While it yet has some adherents, De Koninck’s view today seems to be in the minority. Any “philosophy of nature” is usually considered to be a part or a mode of metaphysics, and at any rate distinct from the natural sciences. What has Athens to do with Stockholm? Are there good reasons to continue to defend De Koninck’s continuity thesis? What difference does it make for understanding the central principles of natural philosophy and integrating them with the modern sciences? By answering these questions, we vindicate De Koninck’s thesis and defend the role of natural philosophic wisdom about the cosmos.