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Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge


Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge addresses a philosophical subject—the nature of truth and knowledge—but treats it in a way that draws on insights beyond the usual confines of modern philosophy. This ambitious collection includes contributions from established scholars in philosophy, theology, mathematics, chemistry, biology, psychology, literary criticism, history, and architecture. It represents an attempt to integrate the insights of these disciplines and to help them probe their own basic presuppositions and methods.

The essays in Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge are collected into five parts, the first dealing with division of knowledge into multiple disciplines in Western intellectual history; the second with the foundational disciplines of epistemology, logic, and mathematics; the third with explanation in the natural sciences; the fourth with truth and understanding in disciplines of the humanities; and the fifth with art and theology.

Contributors: Vittorio Hösle, Keith Lehrer, Robert Hanna, Laurent Lafforgue, Thomas Nowak, Francisco J. Ayala, Zygmunt Pizlo, Osborne Wiggins, Allan Gibbard, Carsten Dutt, Aviezer Tucker, Nicola Di Cosmo, Michael Lykoudis, and Celia Deane-Drummond.

Forms of Truth and the Unity of Knowledge is available as a paperback original from the University of Notre Dame Press. To purchase the book or read more:

Dimensions of Goodness


Dimensions of Goodness is based on the second conference of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, whose aim is to bridge the normative and descriptive dimensions of knowledge by bringing in as many disciplines as possible to address fundamental philosophical issues. While the first conference dealt with the elusive topic of beauty, the second addressed crucial issues of ethics. In the first section of this volume, the German philosophers Franz von Kutschera and Markus Gabriel discuss the nature of values and the reasons why we believe that normativity has a place in the world. In the second section, the British historian Jonathan Israel, the American theologian Jennifer Herdt, and the editor of the volume analyse epochal changes in our moral beliefs, due to Enlightenment, Christianity, and the general evolution of moral ideas, which is presented in a way that markedly differs from Alasdair MacIntyre’s famous account. The third section explores both the light that the exact sciences shed on the process of decision making (in the contributions by the Italian neuroscientist Camillo Padoa-Schioppa and the Canadian psychologist Clive Seligman) as well as the ethical challenges that modern science has brought forward in areas such as the responsibility of scientists, bioethics and medical ethics in chapters by the Swiss chemist and Nobel laureate Richard Ernst, the American bioethicist and historian of biology Jane Maienschein, and the American philosopher and legal scholar Anita Allen. The fourth section focuses on specific challenges of our time – the British philosopher Robin Attfield explores the principles of environmental ethics, the Swiss business ethicist Georges Enderle investigates goodness in economy, the Mexican elder statesman (former Secretary of Economy and of Foreign Affairs) Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista looks at the challenges of development, and the American legal scholars Steven D. Smith and Mary Ellen O’Connell examine the place of religion in the American constitution and the power of international law in limiting violence respectively. Finally, the last section consists of a chapter by the well-known Chinese intellectual Wang Hui on Lu Xun’s struggle to find a middle way between respect of one’s own tradition and the demands of globalization.

There is probably no other volume in which so many different disciplines come together to try to find a convergence of perspectives on basic moral issues. The book will be invaluable to those who believe that goodness is the focal point of most academic disciplines and that academia can find a stronger point of unity in a common reflection on what goodness in various areas means.

Contributors: Vittorio Hösle, Franz von Kutschera, Markus Gabriel, Jonathan Israel, Jennifer Herdt, Camillo Padoa-Schioppa, Clive Seligman, Richard R. Ernst, Jane Maienschein, Anita L. Allen, Robin Attfield, Georges Enderle, Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista, Steven D. Smith, Mary Ellen O’Connell, and Wang Hui.

Dimensions of Goodness is available in hardback from Cambridge Scholars Publishing. To purchase the book or read more:

The Many Faces of Beauty


The Many Faces of Beauty, the inaugural conference volume of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS), is now available. The book is edited by Vittorio Hösle, the founding Director of the NDIAS.

The Many Faces of Beauty joins the rich debate on beauty and aesthetic theory by presenting an ambitious, interdisciplinary examination of various facets of beauty in nature and human society. The contributors ask such questions as: Is there beauty in mathematical theories? What is the function of arts in the economy of cultures? What are the main steps in the historical evolution of aesthetic theories from ancient civilizations to the present? What is the function of the ugly in enhancing the expressivity of art? What constitutes beauty in film?

This collection of sixteen essays, by eminent scientists, critics, scholars, and artists, is divided into five parts. In the first, a mathematician, physicist, and two philosophers address beauty in mathematics and nature. In the second, an anthropologist, psychologist, historian of law, and economist address the place of beauty in the human mind and in society. Explicit philosophical reflections on notoriously vexing issues, such as the historicity of aesthetics itself, interculturality, and the place of the ugly, are themes of the third part. In the fourth, practicing artists and theorists discuss beauty in painting, music, poetry, and film. The final essay, by a theologian, reflects on the relation between beauty and God.

Contributors: Vittorio Hösle, Robert P. Langlands, Mario Livio, Dieter Wandschneider, Christian Illies, Francesco Pellizzi, Bjarne Sode Funch, Peter Landau, Holger Bonus, Pradeep A. Dhillon, Mark W. Roche, Maxim Kantor, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Mary Kinzie, Dudley Andrew, and Cyril O’Regan.

The Many Faces of Beauty is available as a paperback original from the University of Notre Dame Press. To purchase the book or read more:

The Idea of a Catholic Institute for Advanced Study


Contributing authors: Vittorio Hösle, founding Director, NDIAS; Gregory Crawford, Dean of the College of Science; Peter Kilpatrick, Dean of the College of Engineering; Mary Ellen O’Connell, Professor of Law and Research Professor of International Dispute Resolution; Cyril O’Regan, Professor of Theology; Mark Roche, Professor of German Language and Literature, Concurrent Professor of Philosophy; with a preface by Reverend John Jenkins, CSC, President of the University of Notre Dame; and an introduction by Donald Stelluto, Associate Director, NDIAS.


To purchase a copy, mail a check for $10.00 to:

Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

1124 Flanner Hall

Notre Dame, IN  46556

Please include a note requesting the book and a mailing address with your check.