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Brian Conolly

Professor Brian Conolly

Associate Professor of Philosophy


Hall College Center

Academic Program Affiliation(s)

Social Studies, Philosophical Studies

Areas of Specialization

  • Medieval philosophy


Research Interests: Medieval theories of motion, infinity, and continuity; medieval theories of intellect and divine knowledge; God’s creative power; Dietrich of Freiberg; Thomas Aquinas; Averroes and Latin Averroism; the Liber de causis

Teaching Interests: Ethics, history of philosophy

Other Interests: Music, birding, hiking

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Ethics
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Islam, God, and the Philosophers
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy
  • Ad Infinitum: Controversy, Paradox, Perplexity, and the Idea of the Infinite
  • Hume and Kant
  • Averroes’ Incoherence of the Incoherence


PhD, Indiana University
BA and MA, Stanford University

Dr. Conolly teaches a range of courses in the history of philosophy and in contemporary philosophy, but he specializes in medieval philosophy. His dissertation investigated ancient and medieval theories of change in nature, specifically with respect to the intensification of forms. In addition to publishing and presenting papers on this subject, he has published or presented papers on medieval theories of the intellect and on the infinite power of God. Dr. Conolly is currently studying 13th-century Latin Averroist commentaries on the Liber de causis, especially with respect to the problem of whether the power of creation is unique to God, as well as questions pertaining to the relation between knowledge and causality in God and other beings. He has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2006.



  • “Dietrich of Freiberg on the Succession of Forms in the Intensification of Qualities” Recherches de Theologie et Philosophie Medievale (2014)
  • “The Form of Corporeity and Aptitudinal Being in Dietrich von Freiberg’s Defense of the Doctrine of the Unity of Substantial Form” in Charles Bolyard and Rondo Keele, editors, Essays in Later Mediaeval Metaphysics (Fordham University Press, 2012)
  • “Averroes, Thomas Aquinas, and Giles of Rome on How This Man Understands”. Vivarium 45 (2007)


  • “Thomas Aquinas, Siger of Brabant, and Dietrich of Freiberg on God’s Creative Power”. University of Ottawa Summer Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, July 4, 2016
  • “Early Fourteenth Century Theories of Motion: Thomas de Bailly and Hervaeus Natalis on Infinity and Continuity”. Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science Meeting, CFHSS Congress, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, May 27-29, 2012
  • “Intrinsic Increase and Actual Infinities: Dietrich von Freiberg on the Intensification of Qualities”. Boston College Patristic and Medieval Philosophy and Theology Lecture Series, Chestnut Hill, MA, April 23, 2012
  • “Incommensurability and the Intensively Infinite Power of God in Ockham’s Quodlibets”. Canadian Society of Medievalists Congress University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, May 29, 2011
  • “The Interpenetration of the Elements in Dietrich von Freiberg's Theory of the Mixed Body”. 8th International Medieval Congress, Leeds University, Leeds UK, July 9, 2008