Summer Seminar (June 11th-15th)
(This page is now of historical interest only.)
This summer the ISN will host its first annual tutorial for
students called the “Summer Seminar,” followed by a small
conference for the students and scholars. This page contains information on
the Summer Seminar. Click here for information on the Summer
Important new link: click here
for the schedule and reading plan for the Summer Seminar.
ISN Summer Seminar 2007:
“Does Nature Act for an End?: Teleology Reconsidered”
What: Four days of
study and dialog on questions of science, natural philosophy, and their
intersection. The questions and issues will be far-ranging, from
anti-reductionism, emergentism, and structuralism in science, to
“anti-realism” and “pluralism” in philosophy of science, to the continuing
relevance of Aristotle's understanding of nature.
The readings, lectures, and discussions
will be organized around the theme of teleology in natural
things. Teleology, even in the limited sense of
“self-directedness” or “intrinsic purposiveness,” has long been a source of controversy in
philosophical reflections on nature and science. Using primarily
texts and examples from modern chemistry, we will attempt to
show that intrinsic teleology is neither a scary “ghostly cause” nor a
“science-stopper,” but a common-sense conclusion from the data
of modern science, and one that neither undermines the modern
scientific edifice, nor remains irrelevant to it.
In order to maximize the value of week, students
will be expected to read approximately 400 pages of materials
from scientific, philosophical, modern, and classical sources in the month leading up to the Summer
Seminar. Those readings
are now posted, linked from the
Seminar Plan and Schedule page.
Who: Approximately 15 graduate
undergraduate students currently studying within a modern
scientific discipline or related fields. Post-docs and other young scientists are
also welcome. Applications from students in other
disciplines with a deep interest in science, philosophy and
history of science, and/or natural philosophy will be seriously
Faculty: ISN Fellows
Joe Audie, and
When: The Summer
Seminar begins on Monday evening, June 11th, at 4pm, and ends
on Friday afternoon by 3pm. Students are encouraged to stay and
participate in the Summer Conference, and the
fee covers room and board through Sunday morning.
Where: The Institute
of Catholic Thought of the
St. John's Newman
Center at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign campus.
How: The fee for the
Summer Seminar and Conference is $500, including room and
board and at least one celebratory dinner at a nearby
restaurant. The fee can be reduced or waived on a showing of
need. Travel expenses to Champaign-Urbana, IL (airport code “CMI”), are generally not
covered; but we will consider exceptions to that policy
on a case-by-case basis. Please click to download the application document in Word
zipped) or PDF
zipped) formats, and
preferably email a filled-out Word document (or fax the filled-out PDF).
The application must be returned by May 21th, 2007.
Henry Teichert, ISN Program
The Summer Seminar and Summer Conference are hosted
and co-sponsored by the Institute
of Catholic Thought.