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Baylor Philosopher to Give Wilde Lectures at Oxford University

May 8, 2019
WACO, Texas (May 6, 2019) – Alexander R. Pruss, Ph.D., professor and director of graduate studies in philosophy in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, has been invited to give the highly regarded Wilde Lectures at Oxford University, beginning May 9, with a series of five lectures on “God, Human Nature and Mathematics.”

The Wilde Lectures at Oxford have been given since 1911 and are among the most prestigious lectureships available to philosophers or theologians working in philosophy of religion or natural theology.

“To be asked to deliver the Wilde Lectures is a great honor, given both the venue and its illustrious history. To be included with great philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga, Eleonore Stump, Nicholas Wolsterstorff and Sir Anthony Kenny, among others, is both astonishing and humbling,” Pruss said. “Over the past decade, the faculty and students of the Baylor department of philosophy have provided me with a wonderful intellectual and spiritual environment to develop as a philosopher, and I am grateful to them for helping me reach this point. The honor belongs to them as well.”

Pruss said the focus of his lectures will be on arguments for the existence of God that have not received sufficient attention from contemporary philosophers. His particular focus will be on the way important human pursuits – the pursuit of beauty, of knowledge, of the right and of mathematics – point to God.

Pruss will give the Wilde Lectures at Oxford on these dates:

Thursday, May 9: The Argument from Beauty
Thursday, May 16: The Argument from the Falsity of Scepticism
Tuesday, May 21: New Work for Natural Law in Metaphysics, Ethics and Epistemology, Part I
Thursday, May 23: New Work for Natural Law in Metaphysics, Ethics and Epistemology, Part II
Thursday, May 30: Did God Make the Natural Numbers?

“Intellectually, the lectures will be an exciting – but also daunting – opportunity to develop and place before the philosophical world lines of argument that I hope will present new directions for exploration in the philosophy of religion, while at the same offering me the opportunity to have the ideas be deepened or refuted by an audience of the highest intellectual caliber,” Pruss said.

Pruss holds Ph.D. degrees in both mathematics and philosophy from the University of British Columbia and the University of Pittsburgh, respectively. He joined the Baylor philosophy faculty in 2007.

In addition to many peer-reviewed articles, he has published several academic monographs, including Infinity, Causation and Paradox (OUP 2018), Necessary Existence (with Joshua Rasmussen, OUP 2018), One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics (Notre Dame 2012), Actuality, Possibility and Worlds (Continuum 2011) and The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment (CUP 2006).

“The Wilde Lectures have been given at Oxford University for more than 100 years by philosophers who are among the very best in our discipline,” said Michael Beaty, Ph.D., professor and chair of philosophy at Baylor. “The prestigious Wilde Lectures brings well-deserved recognition to Dr. Pruss, given the quality and quantity of his scholarship. His colleagues in the Baylor’s department of philosophy are proud, but not surprised, that Alex has received this exceptionally prestigious honor.”
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