Technology and Truth

JPI 981

The advent of modern science and technological society generated not only a new method for ascertaining the truth of nature, but also new conceptions of nature, reason, and truth. This seminar will consider the "fate of truth" in light of this transformation. Reflecting philosophically and theologically on the meaning and history of truth, we will take special care to consider how a mechanistic ontology alters our understanding of truth, the means of attaining it, and our desire to seek it. Reading for the course will draw from such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Balthasar, Ratzinger, Descartes, Bacon, Locke, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, James, Dewey, and Heidegger.

Course Texts for Fall 2019

  • Martin Heidegger, Pathmarks (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1998).  ISBN 0-521-43968-x.
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar, Theologic I:  Truth of the World (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2000).  ISBN 0-89870-718-8.
  • Allan Bloom (trans.), The Republic of Plato (New York:  Basic Books, 1991).  ISBN 0-465-06934-7
  • Richard McKeon (ed.), The Basic Works of Aristotle (Modern Library, 2001) ISBN 10: 0375757996.
  • Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will, trans. by Thomas Williams (Indianapolis:  Hackett, 1993).
  • Aquinas, De Veritate I.1-3, available at
  • Francis Bacon, The New Organon (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2000).
  • Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, 4th ed (Indianapolis:  Hackett, 1998).
  • John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Adamant Media Corporation, 2001), ISBN 0543739376
  • Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics, trans. by P. Carus and L. White Beck, (Pearson 1994).  ISBN-10: 0023193301 ISBN-13: 978-0023193309.
  • G.W.F. Hegel, Faith and Knowledge, trans. by W. Cerf and H.S. Harris, (Albany:  State University of New York Press, 1977).  ISBN 0-87395-338-X.
  • William James, Pragamatism and the Meaning of Truth (Watchmaker, 2011) ISBN-978-1-60386-414-5.
  • John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy (Forgotten Books, 2012).
  • Richard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2009), ISBN 978-0-691-14132-9.

Associated Faculty

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