Fordham Notes: “Science, Philosophy, and Religion” Lecture to Explore “What is Wisdom?”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

“Science, Philosophy, and Religion” Lecture to Explore “What is Wisdom?”

What makes a person wise? Is wisdom different than intelligence? Is God the only one that can be called “wise”?

Stephen Grimm, Ph.D., as associate professor of philosophy, will take up the topic of wisdom for the next installment of Fordham University’s John C. and Jeanette D. Walton Lecture in Science, Philosophy, and Religion.

“What is Wisdom?”
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
6:30 p.m.
12th-floor Lounge / Corrigan Conference Center
Lincoln Center Campus
113 W. 60th St., New York City

Grimm, a philosopher who specializes in epistemology, is the recipient of a $4.2 million John Templeton Foundation grant — the largest award Fordham has ever received in the humanities. The grant funds Grimm’s interdisciplinary project, “Varieties of Understanding: New Perspectives from Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology,” a three-year initiative that sponsors research into the many ways in which human beings understand the world.

“As human beings, we have a natural desire to understand the world and our place within it… But what exactly is understanding?” said Grimm.

We know generally what understanding is, he said; namely, it is a higher-order cognitive capacity that falls within the broader category of knowledge. To put this in practical terms, the person who has knowledge of a thing might possess a collection of facts about that thing, but the person who understands it is able to also see how these facts relate to one another and to the larger picture.

Wisdom, though, is another category altogether. In the Walton lecture, Grimm will explore questions surrounding this topic, which was favored by ancient and medieval philosophers, yet has been given relatively little attention by contemporary thinkers.

The Walton lectures and workshops features scholars of the highest caliber on topics at the intersection of science, philosophy, and theology. Upcoming events will cover current research on how consciousness and free will relate to the brain, the role of science in contemporary society, and more.

For more information, contact the Office of Special Events by email or at (212) 636-6575.

— Joanna K. Mercuri

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