Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy and the Form of Health

The colloquium lecture delivered in September 2020 by Dr. Michel Accad, MD, “Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy and the Form of Health” is now available to the public. You can listen or download below (full lecture at the bottom). Please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute if you enjoy this lecture! Your donations allow us to support the pursuit of philosophy and dedicated thinkers like Dr. Accad in their research, teaching, and publications.

Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy and the Form of Health

Michel Accad, MD

Preview – Michel Accad, MD: Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy and the Form of Health

In the fourth of the Lyceum Institute Colloquia, we present Dr. Michel Accad, MD, a cardiologist and practitioner of internal medicine (see Dr. Accad’s site here), who presents for us some of his thoughts on the insights that Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy brings to an understanding of health and the practice of medicine.  This lecture lights upon the history of philosophy and the human body and challenges the commonly-accepted mechanicist and reductionistic views of the human body as a mere machine–grown out of a Cartesian view–in contrast to the classical Hippocratic theory, which encourages an approach to the body as a whole.

If you enjoyed this lecture, please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute with a small donation.

The Breakdown of Secular Democracy and the Need for a Christian Order

The colloquium lecture delivered in July 2020 by Prof. Francisco Plaza, PhD Candidate (UST, Houston TX), “The Breakdown of Secular Democracy and the Need for a Christian Order” is now available to the public. You can listen or download below. Please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute if you enjoy this lecture! Your donations allow us to support talented academics like Prof. in their research, teaching, and publications.

The Breakdown of Secular Democracy and the Need for a Christian Order

Francisco Plaza, PhD Candidate

The question has been raised as to whether or not secular liberalism can sustain itself, especially as it seems to be breaking down in our present time, both from the perspective of anti-modernists who uphold tradition, but also from modernists themselves who have fallen into totalitarian ideologies, Marxism being the most common among them.

In this lecture, we shall begin by addressing the current state of culture, considering the nature of modernity and its crisis of meaning. For our purposes, we shall focus mostly on its political dimension. After providing a summary account of modernism and its crisis, we shall consider two responses from Catholic political thought that look to creating a truly post-modern order. The first of these is that of integralism, a revivalist type movement that looks to the past before modernity as the way beyond the modern problem. We shall consider the integralist response to modern politics, then consider where it is correct and where it may fall short. Finally, we shall conclude by considering Maritain’s defense of a “Christian Democracy” and “integral humanism” as the true way beyond modernity.

Preview – Prof. Francisco Plaza: The Breakdown of Secular Democracy and the Need for a Christian Order

If you enjoyed this lecture, please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute with a small donation.

On Predestination and the Doctrine of Sufficient and Efficacious Grace in St. Thomas Aquinas

The colloquium lecture delivered in June 2020 by Dr. Taylor Patrick O’Neill, “On Predestination and the Doctrine of Sufficient and Efficacious Grace in St. Thomas Aquinas” is now available to the public. You can listen or download below. Please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute if you enjoy this lecture! Your donations allow us to support talented academics like Dr. O’Neill in their research, teaching, and publications.

On Predestination and the Doctrine of Sufficient and Efficacious Grace in St. Thomas Aquinas

Dr. Taylor Patrick O’Neill

Full lecture – Dr. Taylor Patrick O’Neill – On Predestination and the Doctrine of Sufficient and Efficacious Grace in St. Thomas Aquinas

In this lecture, Taylor Patrick O’Neill gives a brief introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas’ doctrine of predestination with a special focus on how it relates to human freedom. Principles of a Thomistic understanding of providence provide a necessary backdrop for understanding election and reprobation while principles of a Thomistic understanding of grace provide a foundation for exploring the differences between election and reprobation, as well as a defense of contingency and authentic human freedom.

Additional attention is paid to the distinction of sufficient and efficacious grace in the Thomistic tradition.

Preview – Dr. Taylor Patrick O’Neill: On Predestination and the Doctrine of Sufficient and Efficacious Grace

If you enjoyed this lecture, please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute with a small donation.

Wholes and Parts: A Thomistic Refutation of Brain Death

In the first Lyceum Institute Colloquium of 2021, we present our own Michel Accad, MD, who will take us through a discussion of “brain death” as a supposed criterion for determining the presence of life in a human being. This colloquium lecture is based upon and expository of a paper Dr. Accad published in 2015, available here, and which you are all encouraged to read. There is also a response by Jason Eberl, PhD, and a further rejoinder to said response by Dr. Accad.

ORIGINAL PAPER ABSTRACT: I propose a refutation of the two major arguments that support the concept of “brain death” as an ontological equivalent to death of the human organism. I begin with a critique of the notion that a body part, such as the brain, could act as “integrator” of a whole body. I then proceed with a rebuttal of the argument that destruction of a body part essential for rational operations—such as the brain—necessarily entails that the remaining whole is indisposed to accrue a rational soul. Next, I point to the equivocal use of the terms “alive” or “living” as being at the root of conceptual errors about brain death. I appeal to the Thomistic definition of life and to the hylomorphic concept of “virtual presence” to clarify this confusion. Finally, I show how the Thomistic definition of life supports the traditional criterion for the determination of death.

Lay summary: By the mid-1960s, medical technology became available that could keep “alive” the bodies of patients who had sustained complete and irreversible brain injury. The concept of “brain death” emerged to describe such states. Physicians, philosophers, and ethicists then proposed that the state of brain death is equivalent to the state of death traditionally identified by the absence of spontaneous pulse and respiration. This article challenges the major philosophical arguments that have been advanced to draw this equivalence.

Dr. Accad’s lecture is now available to all members at the Lyceum Institute. The live question and answer session will be held on 9 July 2021 (Friday) at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT. Colloquia lectures are released the year after publication at the Lyceum, and Q&A sessions are reserved for members. For information on signing up for the Lyceum, see here.

Defending and Meditating on First Principles

The colloquium lecture delivered in May 2020 by Dr. Matthew Minerd, “Defending and Meditating on First Principles: Wisdom and Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange” is now available to the public. You can listen or download below. Please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute if you enjoy this lecture! Your donations allow us to support talented academics like Dr. Minerd in their research, teaching, and publications.

Defending and Meditating on First Principles: Wisdom and Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

Dr. Matthew Minerd

Preview – Dr. Matthew Minerd: Defending and Meditating on First Principles – Wisdom and Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

From an Aristotelian perspective, domains of discursive knowledge which are called “science,” or epistêmê, are concerned above all with the drawing of per se conclusions in light of first principles.  Though such knowledge is concerned with its first principles, its bent is turned toward the conclusions that those principles illuminate. By contrast, wisdom, sophia, sapientia, takes up a loftier task still: defending and meditating upon its very principles, as well as all other things in light of those principles.  This lecture will briefly present this theme in the work of Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., discussing how sapiential meditation on first principles undergirded much of his philosophical and theological work, imbuing it with a deceptive simplicity which, in fact, is quite illuminating. 

Full lecture now available below.

Full Lecture – Dr. Matthew Minerd: Defending and Meditating on First Principles – Wisdom and Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

If you enjoyed this lecture, please consider supporting the Lyceum Institute with a small donation.

Mending the Cartesian Rift – Walker Percy on Being Human

In the sixth of the Lyceum Institute Colloquia, we present Faculty Fellow Kirk Kanzelberger, PhD, who brings us an insightful, lengthy, and challenging discussion of Walker Percy, Charles Sanders Peirce, and their collected efforts to battle the Cartesian presuppositions.

ABSTRACT: “Our view of the world, which we get consciously or unconsciously from modern science, is radically incoherent,” argues Walker Percy in “The Fateful Rift: The San Andreas Fault in the Modern Mind.” The dualism of Descartes — the rift between man as psyche and man as organism — continues to pervade our inherited view of the world and scientific practice. And yet it was a century ago and more that Charles Sanders Peirce indicated the road to a more coherent anthropology based upon the crucial datum of the triadic sign-relation that unites “mental” and “physical” in one single natural event.

This lecture explores Percy’s argument and its background in the thought of Descartes and Peirce, and provides an assessment of this final public articulation by Percy concerning the issues that preoccupied him as a writer: the contemporary predicament of the human being, lost in the cosmos that it understands more and more, while understanding itself less and less.

Dr. Kanzelberger’s lecture is now available to all members at the Lyceum Institute. The live question and answer session will be held on 4 December 2020 (Friday) at 6:15pm ET/3:15pm PT. Colloquia lectures are released the year after publication at the Lyceum, and Q&A sessions are reserved for members. For information on signing up for the Lyceum, see here.

Preview – Dr. Kirk Kanzelberger, Mending the Cartesian Rift – Walker Percy on Being Human

How to be a Contemporary Thomist – The Case of Marshall McLuhan

In the fifth of the Lyceum Institute Colloquia, we present our own Adam Pugen, PhD, who brings us a discussion of Marshall McLuhan–who, despite his popularity as a “media guru”, was more fundamentally and consciously a Thomist–a discussion ranging through the influences of Chesterton, New Criticism, Jacques Maritain, analogy and metaphor, the Trivium (especially the deepening and expansion of grammar), and all this aimed at the meaning of what it is to truly be a Thomist in our own times. Not merely incidental but integral to true contemporary Thomism is the wrestling with our techno-media environments–and conversely, to understand in depth McLuhan’s own “medium is the message”, we must understand the Thomistic roots of his thinking.

Dr. Pugen’s lecture is now available at the Lyceum Institute. The live question and answer session will be held on 6 November 2020 (Friday) at 6:15pm ET/3:15pm PT. Colloquia lectures are released the year after publication at the Lyceum, and Q&A sessions are reserved for members. For information on signing up for the Lyceum, see here.

Preview – Dr. Adam Pugen, How to be a Contemporary Thomist – The Case of Marshall McLuhan

Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy and the Form of Health

In the fourth of the Lyceum Institute Colloquia, we present Michel Accad, MD, a cardiologist and practitioner of internal medicine (see Dr. Accad’s site here), who presents for us some of his thoughts on the insights that Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy brings to an understanding of health and the practice of medicine.  This lecture lights upon the history of philosophy and the human body and challenges the commonly-accepted mechanicist and reductionistic views of the human body as a mere machine–grown out of a Cartesian view–in contrast to the classical Hippocratic theory, which encourages an approach to the body as a whole.

Dr. Accad’s lecture is now available on the Lyceum Institute. The live question and answer session will be held on 4 September 2020 (Friday) at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT.

Preview – Dr. Michel Accad, Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy and the Form of Health