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Thurs Jan 25, 4:30-6:00 pm, Wolff Auditorium, Jepson (JP 114)
George Watson, Philosophy, Gonzaga

Watson photo

Watson Wisdom poster
" What Price Wisdom? Ignorance and the Path to Understanding"


Suppose there were men who had always lived under the Earth ... Suddenly, there was an Earthquake and they were able to make their way up to the surface of the Earth. There, they saw the Seas and Skies, the Clouds, felt the Winds, saw how the Sun lit up the entire World, how Dawn followed the Night, how Day followed the Dawn and Evening came before the Night. Then, how the Stars appeared and moved across the Night with the Planets and the Moon.

Would they not think Divine hands had made this Universe possible?

--Cicero quoting from a lost dialogue of Aristotle, On the Nature of the Gods (2. 37. 95-96)

If it is the case that we are living in increasingly Post-Christian World, from whence, then, might wisdom be found? If wisdom requires that one search for it via the light of Truth, what metron may we use to discover what is the purest light?


I would ask us to jointly examine a few passages from Greek Drama and Philosophy and juxtapose them with a few passages from the Bible so that we might ponder what may be gained and lost if we no longer believe that humans are made in the Image and Likeness of their Creator. Using Plato’s Meno as the starting point, we may end up pondering Parmenides’ admonition to Socrates that wisdom is the rarest of the gifts from God.


George Watson attended the University of California, the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Notre Dame, Gonzaga and the University of Idaho, obtaining undergraduate degrees in cognitive science, philosophy, history, literature and the classics and graduate degrees in philosophy, education and the teaching of mathematics. He has taught mathematics, physics, chemistry, English, Latin, religion, history, robotics, computer science and drama at various Catholic secondary schools. Mr. Watson has also taught philosophy at Seattle University, the University of San Francisco, the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, and the University of California. Currently a lecturer in the Gonzaga Philosophy Department, Watson has been known to pose a myriad of philosophical questions to the students and faculty of Gonzaga.

Thurs Feb 8, 7:00-8:30 pm, Coughlin Theater, Woldson Performing Arts Center, Gonzaga University Fr Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D., President, Magis Center; Former Gonzaga President

Spitzer Robert J SJ

Spitzer Big Bang poster
"Why Is There Increasing Openness to Transcendent Intelligence in Big Bang Cosmology?"

Talk co-sponsored with the Gonzaga Faith & Reason Institute

Today, scientists are more open to belief in the transcendent than ever before. In the last Pew Survey of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 51% of scientists overall and 66% of young scientists declared themselves to be believers in God or a higher transcendent power. What has produced this sharp increase in theism? Fr. Spitzer will consider three major reasons:

              i.       The evidence of the high unlikelihood of eternal inflation and an infinite multiverse (by Stephen Hawking, Thomas Hertog, and others) has reignited the problem of fine-tuning for life in the exceedingly, exceedingly improbable initial conditions and constants of our universe.

            ii.       The increasing acknowledgement (even among atheists such as Thomas Nagel) that physical processes and structures alone cannot explain the quantum and mind-like dimensions of our universe.

          iii.       The recent peer-reviewed medical studies of near death experiences and terminal lucidity that present convincing evidence (summarized in the 2022 Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences) of a credible possibility of consciousness surviving bodily death.  

The mysterious nature of our universe and our mind points beyond materialism -- to something like transcendent intelligence.

Rev. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. Ph.D., is a Jesuit priest, teacher, author, and lecturer on topics ranging from ethics, philosophy, and the relationship between modern physics and Christian faith. Fr. Spitzer has academic degrees from the Gregorian University and the Weston School (Cambridge), and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America and has taught philosophy and business ethics at Georgetown University and Seattle University.


Fr Spitzer led Gonzaga University as President from 1998 to 2009, at which time he significantly increased programs and curricula in faith, ethics, service, and leadership, guided efforts to build 20 new facilities, increased the student population by 75%, raised more than $200 million for scholarships and capital projects, and founded the Gonzaga Faith & Reason Institute.


Fr Spitzer has made many television appearances and currently appears weekly on EWTN in “Father Spitzer’s Universe.” Among Fr. Spitzer’s many works are the books The Soul’s Upward Yearning: Clues to Our Transcendent Nature from Experience and Reason; The Light Shines on in The Darkness: Transforming Suffering through Faith; New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions to Late Twentieth Century Physics and Philosophy; Evidence for God from Contemporary Science and Philosophy, and the recently released Science at the Doorstep to God: Science and Reason in Support of God, the Soul, and Life after Death (Ignatius 2023).


Fr Spitzer currently directs the Magis Center on Science, Reason, and Faith, which offers Fr. Spitzer’s unique take on the complementarity of faith & reason as found in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and in dialogue with contemporary philosophy and natural science.

This talk by Fr Spitzer is part of a series co-sponsored with the Aram Professor of the Gonzaga School of Business. It begins on Wednesday, February 7, 7:00-8:30 pm, with a talk by Fr Spitzer on Business Ethics:

“What’s Missing in Contemporary Approaches to Business Ethics? The Devaluation of Principles, Conscience, and Faith”

Aram Lecture, Gonzaga School of Business Administration

Wednesday, February 7, 7 pm

Coughlin Theater, Woldson Performing Arts Center, Gonzaga University

Mon Mar 25 (probable) speaker TBA


 More information soon!

Mon Apr 15 (probable) speaker TBA