Charles De Koninck
Edited and translated by Ralph McInerny
The Writings of Charles De Koninck, Volume 1, introduces a projected three-volume series that presents the first English edition of the collected works of the Catholic Thomist philosopher Charles De Koninck (1906–1965). Ralph McInerny is the project editor and has prepared the excellent translations.
The first volume contains writings ranging from De Koninck’s 1934 dissertation at the University of Louvain on the philosophy of Sir Arthur Eddington, to two remarkable early essays on indeterminism and the unpublished book “The Cosmos.” The short essay “Are the Experimental Sciences Distinct from the Philosophy of Nature?” is also included and demonstrates for the first time De Koninck’s distinctive view on the relation between philosophy of nature and the experimental sciences. A comprehensive introductory essay by Leslie Armour outlines the structure and themes of De Koninck’s philosophy. The volume begins with a biographical essay by De Koninck’s son, Thomas.
Charles De Koninck was on the faculty of Québec’s Université de Laval and was Director of Laval’s philosophy faculty from 1939 to 1956. He determined the course of philosophy at Laval and in much of French Canada through his publications and his connections with the Roman Catholic Church. He lectured frequently in the United States, as well as in Latin America, Europe, and Canada.
“Charles De Koninck, perhaps because of his untimely death, is not as well known to English-speaking readers as Etienne Gilson and Jacques Maritain, but his work belongs to that same world-class scholarship as his notable contemporaries. It is almost an understatement to say that his contribution to the philosophy of science remains timely. Readers are fortunate that his former student, Ralph McInerny, has seen fit to collect and to translate, where necessary, some of De Koninck’s most important work for this volume.” —Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America