College of Arts and Sciences

Therese Cory, PhD

  • Therese Scarpelli Cory, PhD
    PhD, Philosophy
    Assistant Professor, Philosophy
    Phone: 206-296-5473
    Building/Room: Casey 426


    Teaching and Research Interests

    Medieval philosophy, especially Thomas Aquinas; the intersection between Arabic and Latin thought; theories of cognition, self-knowledge, and personhood; ethics.  For published papers and work-in-progress, see Dr. Cory’s personal page at


    Dr. Therese Scarpelli Cory joined Seattle University's department of philosophy in 2010.  In 2005 she entered the graduate program at the School of Philosophy in the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, earning her PhD in 2009 with a dissertation on self-knowledge in Aquinas, directed by John Wippel.  From 2009-2010, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at Georgetown University's Martin Center for Medieval Philosophy in Washington, DC.  Her paper "Diachronically Unified Consciousness in Augustine and Aquinas" was awarded the 2011 Founder's Prize from the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy.  Most recently, her book Aquinas on Human Self-Knowledge has been published by Cambridge University Press.

    Dr. Cory's research examines medieval cognition theories, with special focus on Thomas Aquinas.  She is particularly interested in tracing the influence of Arabic thought on cognition theory in Aquinas and his predecessors, and is an active member of the "Aquinas and 'the Arabs' International Working Group."   Her current research studies theories of physical light transmitted from medieval Arabic thinkers, examining how these theories were used to model abstraction and other functions of "intellectual light" (the agent intellect) by thirteenth-century Latin thinkers such as Aquinas, Albert, and Bonaventure.   She is also working on a chapter for the Cambridge Critical Guide to Thomas Aquinas's "On Evil", provisionally titled "Demonic Mind-Readers and Deceivers: What De malo 16 Can Tell Us About Intellectual Attention in Aquinas."  

    Dr. Cory will be on leave from the department during AY 2014-15 to work on a book project, "To Know Is To Be: Aquinas's Metaphysics of Intellectual Being," at the Universität Würzburg, Germany.  The research is supported by a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.