Walton Lecture Series


The Walton lectures and workshops aim to provide interested professionals in the New York area the opportunity to interact with scholars of the highest caliber concerning topics at the intersection of science, philosophy, and theology.

Upcoming events consider current research on topics such as consciousness, free will, and their relation to states of the brain; rule-based ethics versus virtue-based ethics; and the role of science in contemporary society.

All Lectures are free and open to the public.
Reception to Follow.

The World Outside and the Pictures in Our Heads: A Case for Intellectual Humility

November 18, 2015 | 6:30 p.m.

Nathan Ballantyne
Fordham University

Bateman Conference Room (2nd floor)
Fordham University School of Law
150 W. 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023

In one of Western philosophy's primal scenes, Socrates compares human beings to prisoners, held by chains in a dim cave, watching shadows on the cave wall. This lecture uses Socrates' striking allegory as a springboard to modern-day reflection on knowledge, technology, and the good life.

Building Better Policies: Making the Most of What the Sciences Teach

March 10, 2016 | 6:30 p.m.

Nancy Cartwright
University of Durham
University of California, San Diego

Pope Auditorium
Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center Campus
113 W. 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

Past Lectures

Science, Religion, and the Transmission of Knowledge

October 7, 2015 | 6:30 p.m.

John Greco
St. Louis University

E. Gerald Corrigan Conference Center (12th floor)
Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center Campus
113 W. 60th Street, New York, NY 10023

Contemporary scientific knowledge depends on various kinds of social factors. For example, scientists work together in research teams, different teams rely on each other's work, and the rest of us rely on experts when the results of scientific inquiry are disseminated to the general public. Religious belief is likewise largely the result of social forces. Religious traditions transmit faith from generation to generation, and religious communities are characterized by an "epistemic division of labor" among church authorities, scholars, and laypersons. This lecture explores a promising approach to understanding social dependence in the sciences, and argues that religious belief lends itself to an analogous treatment.