Does Science Leave Room for Free Will?
Thomas Davenport, OP
Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)
The tension between human freedom and natural order has troubled philosophers for millenia, but as contemporary science probes more deeply the fundamental workings of the material order and the internal structure and power of the human brain, it can seem even more troubling today. Is there room for real freedom of choice in human activity in our contemporary understanding of physics? of chemistry? of biology? of neuroscience? What would it mean for science as a shared human project if human beings were not actually “in charge” of it? In this talk, I hope to frame the question of “free will” and natural order in a Thomistic context, and work towards answers to some of these questions.
Fr. Thomas Davenport, O.P. is a Dominican priest from the Province of St Joseph. He studied physics at the California Institute of Technology before going on to earn his doctorate in physics from Stanford University, studying theoretical particle physics. He also holds a Licentiate in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America, and he is currently getting a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of faith and science and a contributor to a number of projects in this area including, the Thomistic Evolution project, the Aquinas 101 – Faith and Science series, and the annual Thomistic Philosophy and Natural Science Symposium hosted by the Thomistic Institute in Washington, DC. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Society of Catholic Scientists and is part of the Angelicum Thomistic Institute’s Project for Science and Religion.
This event is organised by the Jagiellonian University student chapter.