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7:00 PM | The Cogitative Power: A Missing Piece in Philosophical Psychology

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Cornell University

The Thomistic Institute chapter at Cornell University presents a lecture by Prof. Mark Barker of Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans titled “The Cogitative Power: A Missing Piece in Philosophical Psychology.”

Physical Sciences Building, Room 120 | 245 East Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850

Tuesday, Oct. 22

7:00 PM

A reception will follow the talk.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the event:

The cogitative power is a comparatively little-known topic in Aquinas’s philosophical psychology. Yet it is of great importance, since it constitutes the bridge between the embodied external senses and the imagination, on the one hand, and the immaterial intellect and universal reason, on the other. Analyzing the cogitative takes us back to its origins in ancient Greek and medieval Arabic philosophy. By attributing names such as “particular reason” to the cogitative power, Aquinas elucidates its infra-intellectual nature. The talk illuminates the cogitative’s myriad functions, which range from perceiving threats to moral reasoning regarding individual actions.

About the speaker:

Dr. Barker was born and raised in New York City. He completed a doctorate in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies (Houston). He holds an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Paris (the Sorbonne) and a B.A. in Classical and Romance Languages from Harvard University, which included studies at the University of Seville, Spain. He studied two years of graduatelevel theology while in France. Dr. Barker has a broad range of competencies, notably in the history of philosophy, metaphyics, philosophy of nature, and logic. However, his research focuses on philosophical psychology, especially in Aquinas, Aristotle, Avicenna, and Averroes.

His research in contemporary philosophy focuses on Heidegger. He also translates Spanish, French, and Latin scholarly texts. Dr. Barker currently teaches at the undergraduate and Masters level at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He believes that some knowledge of philosophy is indispensable for Catholics in the twentyfirst century, since it disposes us to live more virtuous lives and enables one to better defend truths accessible to reason such as the existence of God or the importance of virtue.