“Knowledge, Metaphysics, and the Information Explosion”

Jan 28, 2011
Swift Hall, Common Room
1025 E 58th St,
Chicago, IL 60637
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Benedict Ashley, OPAquinas Institute of Theology

Herman SinaikoUniversity of Chicago


Benedict Ashley, OP (Aquinas Institute of Theology, Emeritus)
Herman Sinaiko (University of Chicago, Emeritus)

To some, in the information age, we seem to know more things, to communicate more effectively, and to better interrelate scientific disciplines. To others, however this  'information explosion’ has produced a miscommunication, a superficial acquaintance with trivial facts, and fragmentation of once-related disciplines. In light of this, Benedict Ashley and Herman Sinaiko will consider whether an Aristotelian ‘synthesis’ of the sciences might offer a means of integrating human knowledge.

Benedict Ashley, OP (1915-2013) came to the University of Chicago in 1933 during momentous times: he became a Trotskyite, studied with novelist Gertrude Stein, befriended the scholar and writer Norman Maclean, and participated in the original Great Books Seminar led by the young University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins and philosopher Mortimer Adler. Through this series of rich encounters, Fr. Ashley was inevitably led to Aquinas, conversion to Roman Catholicism, and entry into the Dominican Order of Preachers. A graduate of the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame, Fr. Ashley taught at the Aquinas Institute at St. Louis University, the John Paul II Institute, and the University of Chicago. His autobiography is entitled Barefoot Journeying: An Autobiography of a Begging Friar.

Herman Sinaiko (1929 - 2011) taught in the College of the University of Chicago for 57 years and also served as Dean of Students from 1982 to 1986.