Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Truth of Science for Justice and Peace

Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who graduated from the Angelicum magna cum laude and is chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of the Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences, gave the keynote speech for Arizona State University (ASU)'s Consortium of Science, Policy, & Outcomes entitled "The Truth of Science for Justice and Peace" on May 18, 2010. It included many references to St. Thomas Aquinas. Here is an excerpt of the interview afterwards:

The transcript and full presentation slides:
And a commentary by the ASU philosopher Farzad Mahootian:

Other enlightening reactions to the Monsignor's speech include those of Heather Douglas, Associate Professor, Philosophy, University of Tennessee and Carl Mitcham, Professor, Liberal Arts and International Studies, Colorado School of Mines.

Heather Douglas's article quotes this by St. Bernard of Clairvoux, which the Monsignor quoted in his speech:
“There are people who only wish to know for the sake of knowing: this is base curiosity. Others wish to know in order that they themselves may be known: this is shameful vanity, and such people cannot escape the mockery of the satirical poet who said about their likes: ‘For you, knowing is nothing unless someone else knows that you know.’ Then there are those who acquire knowledge in order to re-sell it, and for example to make money or gain honours from it: their motive is distasteful. But some wish to know in order to edify: this is charity. Others in order to be edified: this is wisdom. Only those who belong to these last two categories do not misuse knowledge, since they only seek to understand in order to do good.” (Quoted on pp. 5-6, from St. Bernardus, Sermo XXXVI in Cantica, PL, CLXXXIII, 968.)

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