June 7, 2012
Philosophy Professor Therese Scarpelli Cory received a grant from the Gerda-Henkel-Stiftung, a private German foundation that funds historical research. The grant supports her project on the function of intellectual light in Aquinas and his sources. Cory will spend two months at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in Germany where she will work on this project in consultation with the research unit "History of Philosophy and of the Sciences in the Graeco-Arabic-Latin Tradition."
“A prominent theme in 13th century theories of cognition is that thinking is made possible by an ‘intellectual light’ analogous to the physical light that makes vision possible,” Cory said. “In Thomas Aquinas, 'intellectual light' is responsible for several functions relating to abstraction, knowledge of first principles, attention, self-knowledge, and practical judgment. In my research, I’ll go to Aquinas's sources, especially Arabic/Islamic authors, to examine why these functions are related to 'intellectual light,' what they have in common, and what paradigms of light may have shaped his theory of cognition.”
Cory earned her Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America and was Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer at Georgetown University before joining the Arts and Sciences faculty in September 2010. She focuses her scholarship on medieval theories of cognition and human nature. In 2011, she received the Founder’s Prize from the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy.
The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees.
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