Lecture Series on "Natural Law" - Nómos and Thesmós in Sophocles' Antigone



The Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy will hold a Public Lecture titled “Natural Law – Nómos and Thesmós in Sophocles’ Antigone” starting on the 12th November 2020.

Covid-19 impacts our life and world dramatically. Scientists claim, that this situation might have been caused – among other factors – by a wrong treatment of nature by humans. Did nature put its brakes on to correct human behavior? Can we humans discover in nature how to act correctly? Does nature help us to get to know what to do? Philosophically speaking, should actions follow our being (agere sequitur esse), and is ethics fundamentally hooked up with reality and ontology? (bonum et verum convertuntur). Does the “ought” follow from the “is”, and should human life and societies comply with how things are?

After overcoming the mechanistic reductionism of the “natural fallacy”, which denies “value judgments” originating from “is” or facts, this Lecture Series attempts to trace back question of “natural goodness” (Philippa Foot), morals and good actions “in accord with reason” (S. Thomas Aquinas, S.Th. I-II.21.1.; ST I-II, 90.1). The philosophical and catholic tradition calls this the morality of the “natural law”. The lectures shed light on development and relevance of Natural Law from different philosophical and theological angles.

About the Talk & Speaker:

Prof. Roberto Ceolin DPhil (Oxon.) is the professor of Ancient Languages at the Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy at USJ.

The second session of the talks on ‘Natural Law’ will look at the conflict between man dictated law and , which for the Ancient Greeks could stand as an equivalent for what we designate as ‘Natural Moral Law’. In his ‘Antigone’, Sophocles reflects on what value should the laws of a State have in relation to the laws commanded by the gods and how should one (re)act when called to such a challenge.


Date: 12 November 2020
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Don Bosco Auditorium, USJ Ilha Verde Campus

Organised by: Faculty of Religious Studies and Philosophy, University of Saint Joseph

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*This Public Lecture will be conducted in English