The1998 Aquinas Lecture, Science, Religion and Authority: Lessons from the Galileo Affair, was delivered in the Todd Wehr Chemistry Building on Sunday, February 22, 1998, by Richard J. Blackwell, Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University.
Professor Blackwell received his undergraduate education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at John Carroll University. He earned his PhD in Philosophy at Saint Louis University and then did post-doctoral studies in theoretical physics at John Carroll before returning to Saint Louis University in 1961 where he has taught for the past thirty-seven years. He became Professor of Philosophy in 1966 and held the Danforth Chair in the Humanities from 1986 to 1996.
Professor Blackwell is the author of Discovery in the Physical Sciences (1969), A Bibliography of the Philosophy of Science (1983), Christiaan Huygens’ “The Pendulum Clock or Geometrical Demonstrations concerning the Motion of Pendula as Applied to Clocks” (1986), and Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible (1991). He has translated Thomas Campanella’s A Defense of Galileo, the Mathematician from Florence (1994), as well as Christian Wolff’s Preliminary Discourse on Philosophy in General (1963). He translated with others St. Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics (1963).
His most recent articles include “Authority in Science and Religion,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (1996), “Methodology in Modern Philosophy,” in Introduction to Modern Philosophy. Contemporary Thinkers: Commentary and Sources (1995), “Science vs. Religion: Conflict of Ideas or a Clash of Wills?” in Secularism versus Secularity (1994), “Foscarini’s Defense of Copernicanism,” in Nature and Scientific Method (1991), “Che cos’e una scoperta scientifica?” Materiali filosofici (1984), “Scientific Discovery: The Search for New Categories,” New Ideas in Psychology (1983), “Reflections on Descartes’ Methods of Analysis and Synthesis,” in History of Philosophy in the Making (1982), “The Rationality of Scientific Discovery,” in Wissenschaftliche und ausserwissenschaftliche Rationalität (1981), “A New Direction in the Philosophy of Science,” Modern Schoolman (1981), “In Defense of the Context of Discovery,” Revue internationale de philosophie (1980), “Descartes’ Concept of Matter,” in The Concept of Matter in Modern Philosophy (1978), and “Science, Objectivity, and Human Values,” in Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (1977).