Sophia Forum Welcomes Dr. William Hasker

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, 7 p.m.–Thursday, February 14

Posted by: Department of Theology and Philosophy

The Sophia Forum aims to promote Christian philosophy and pay tribute to those who significantly contribute to it.

William Hasker received his Ph.D. in theology and philosophy of religion from The University of Edinburgh. A distinguished scholar, Dr. Hasker has published numerous works. His articles have appeared in the Supplementary Volume to the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and in the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. During 1989-90, he was a Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Hasker was on sabbatical with the Pew Evangelical Scholars Program for the 1997-1998 school year. He was President of the Society for Philosophy of Religion for 2005-2006, and served as the editor of the journal Faith and Philosophy from 2000 until 2007.  

There will be two nights of lecture: Feb 13 and 14, 2013.  Each event will begin at 7:00 pm

Wednesday, February 13th - Why Computers Aren’t People

Computers are not, and cannot be, people, where “computers” is taken to include robots that have digital computers as their central control unit. People understand the messages they produce; computers don’t. People have thoughts and feelings; computers don’t. People have Mental Powers; computers don’t. If computers can’t be people, it also follows that people are not computers; that is, that their minds and brains do not function in the way computers do. This suggests that many research programs in artificial intelligence are misdirected, in that they rest on the mistaken assumption that people’s minds and brains function in a computer-like fashion. This in turn raises further questions about when we should and should not allow our thinking to be guided by “expert authority.”

Thursday, February 14th - How Christian Can Philosophy Be?

How Christian can philosophy be? According to some views, philosophy cannot be Christian at all; the reasons given for these views are considered and dismissed. The main part of the lecture considers the views on this topic of two Christian philosophers, Paul K. Moser and Robert M. Adams. According to Moser,  philosophy as it is normally practiced is highly unsatisfactory from a Christian standpoint. The two paramount models for Christian philosophy are Jesus and Paul, and a truly Christian philosophy will follow them in a way that deviates sharply from the existing discipline of philosophy. Adams, on the other hand, portrays a relationship between Christian faith and philosophy that respects the integrity of each; such a relationship can be basically harmonious though not free from tension. Building on these ideas from Moser and Adams, I sketch out my own perspective on the relationship between Christian faith and philosophy.


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For more information, contact:

Department of Theology and Philosophy
(626) 815-5496