Dr. Steven Baldner, Chair


Department of Philosophy
St. Francis Xavier University
2329 Notre Dame Avenue
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5


Tel: 902.867.2115
Fax: 902.867.3243
Secretary: 902.867.5085


Current Courses


Philosophy 100.12H

Introduction to Philosophy

B blocks

Philosophy 213.20

Philosophy of Science

E blocks

Philosophy 366.20

The Empiricists

GH blocks




Schedule (2016-17): click here

Courses Taught in Previous Years

Philosophy 240

Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy 331 / 332


Philosophy 366

Modern Philosophy II



Classics 110

Introductory Latin

Classics 230

Latin II



Catholic Studies 320

Science and Christianity



Academic Interests:

St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great, Mediaeval Philosophy & Natural Philosophy

List of Publications

"The Use of Scripture for the Refutation of Error, According to St. Thomas Aquinas," in Hamartia:  The Concept of Error in the Western Tradition.  Essays in Honor of John M. Crossett, ed. Donald V. Stump (Lewiston, NY:  Edwin Mellen Press, 1983) 149-170.


"St. Bonaventure and the Temporal Beginning of the World," The New Scholasticism 63(1989) 206-228.


"St. Thomas Aquinas and Charles Hartshorne's Process Philosophy" Lyceum 1(1989) 1-18.


"St. Thomas Aquinas and Charles Hartshorne on Change and Process" in Philosophy and the God of Abraham:  Essays in Memory of James A. Weisheipl, OP, ed. R. James Long (Toronto:  PIMS, 1991) 17-29.


"The Soul in the Explanation of Life:  Aristotle Against Reductionism" Lyceum 3(1991) 1-14.


"The Past Just Ain't What it Used to be:  A Response to Kevin Staley and Ronald Tacelli, S.J."  Lyceum 4(1992)1-4.


"Is St. Albert the Great a Dualist on Human Nature?" Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (Annual Supplement to the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly) 67 (1993) 219-229.


“St. Albert the Great on the Union of the Human Soul and Body,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 70 (1996) 103-120.


“St. Bonaventure and the Demonstrability of a Temporal Beginning:  A Reply to Richard Davis,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 71 (1997) 225-236.


Thomas Aquinas on Creation: Writings on the Sentences of Peter Lombard (Book 2, Distinction 1, Question 1), with William E. Carroll.  Translation of the text of Aquinas with historical and analytical introduction, notes, glossary, and bibliography.  Toronto:  Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1997.


St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas on the Presence of Elements in a Compound,” Sapientia 54 (1999) 41-57.


“Christian Philosophy, Etienne Gilson, and Fides et ratio” in Faith and Reason:  The Notre Dame Symposium edited by Timothy L. Smith (Notre Dame, IN:  St. Augustine’s Press, 2001) 153-166.


“Sources of St. Thomas’ Teaching on Prime Matter” in Aquinas’ Sources, edited by Timothy L. Smith.  Edited by Timothy Smith (Notre Dame, IN:  St. Augustine’s Press, 2014).


“Prime Matter:  A Thomistic Reply to Some Recent Criticisms” in Restoring Nature:  Essays in Thomistic Philosophy and Theology, ed. Michael M. Waddell, with introduction by Ralph McInerny.  Notre Dame, IN:  St. Augustine’s Press, 2014.


“Thomas Aquinas on Celestial Matter,” The Thomist.  68,3 (July, 2004) 431-467.


“The Problem of Motion:  Mediaeval and Modern,” Science et Esprit 57,3 (2005) 215-228.


“Albertus Magnus and the Categorization of Motion,” The Thomist 70,2 (2006) 2-3-235.


“An Argument for Substantial Form,” The Saint Anselm Journal (e-journal), 5 (2007) http://www.anselm.edu/library/SAJ/current.html. 


“Introduction to Albert’s Philosophical Work,” with David Twetten, in A Companion to Albert the Great:  Theology, Philosophy, and the Sciences, edited by I.M. Resnick.  (Leiden:  Brill, 2013) 165-172.


“Albert’s Physics”, with David Twetten and Steven C. Snyder, in A Companion to Albert the Great:  Theology, Philosophy, and the Sciences, edited by I.M. Resnick (Leiden:  Brill, 2013) 173-219, esp. 173-188.


Albertus Magnus on Creation:  Why Philosophy is Inadequate,” The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2014).  [Accepted for publication.]


“Albertus Magnus:  Matter, Motion, and the Heavens.”  [Submitted to The Thomist]

Intellectual Development (in pictures):

1. Ca. 1955: Baldner definitively rejects a careet in big game hunting to devote himself to the study of philosophy.

2. 1968: Baldner reads Augustine's Confessions for the first time and is disturbed by the problem of evil.

3. 1969: Baldner meets Prof. William Carroll, who introduces Baldner to the history of ideas and dissuades him from accepting a football scholarship at the University of Michigan. With Carroll, Baldner says farewell to the U of M. football stadium.

4. 1972: Baldner reads Kierkegaard and becomes an existentialist.

5. 1974: Baldner studies Latin and the works of St. Anselm with Prof. John Crossett. Under Crossett's influence, Baldner accepts the arugment in the Proslogion as sound. Click here to see a picture of Prof Crossett in his study.

6. 1977: Baldner meets Father James A. Weisheipl, with whom he studies Aristotle's Physics and Posterior Analytics and Thomas' Commentaires thereon. Baldner becomes a card-carrying Thomist of the strict observance and learns the secret handshake.

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