International Academic Conference
Science and Religion:
A Role for Metaphysics?
from David Birnbaum’s Summa Metaphysica
Discussion of the relationship between science and religion has typically proceeded on the basis of a scientific analysis of religion or a religious evaluation of science. Predictably, the cognitive lens of assessment has determined that the result will be either predominantly scientific or predominantly religious.
Since the nineteenth century the study of Metaphysics has usually been pursued within the history of philosophy. Advances in several disciplines, scientific and literary, as well as historical and philosophical, appeared to preclude understanding Metaphysics as an analytic discipline.
Yet as the twentieth century progressed, science offered the uncertainty principle, literature discovered hermeneutics that explained how one horizon or discourse may merge into another, history changed its key from the study of atomistic data to the unfolding of meaning, and philosophy challenged empirical constructions of reality. Works by David Birnbaum, chiefly his two volumes entitled Summa Metaphysica
(1988 and 2005), suggest that Metaphysics may emerge as a critical field once again.
The presentations at the conference are open, and members of the community at Bard College are warmly invited. We are especially pleased to announce that David Birnbaum will be present during discussion.
Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion
James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of
Aesthetics and Philosophy