Scholarship at the Cathedral is a series of public lectures at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. SATC brings together intellectuals from different backgrounds and interests to share and seek Truth together on matters of Faith & Reason.


Mathematics and Ethics: The Two Sciences with Demonstrable Truths

Professor James Franklin

Thursday 2 April. Due to government restrictions on public gatherings under the COVID-19 pandemic, this lecture will be pre-recorded and made available later on this website and on the Scholarship at the Cathedral Facebook page

Synopsis: Where empirical sciences like physics and sociology rely on observation and experiment, abstract sciences like mathematics and ethics don’t. The basic truths in them are accessible by pure thought which reveals necessary truths about reality (though some wisdom is needed when it comes to applications). Plato was right: immersion in mathematics induces an understanding of the necessities underpinning reality, an understanding that is essential for distinguishing objective ethics from tribal custom. Equality, for example, is an abstract concept which is foundational for both mathematics and ethics.

James Franklin is Honorary Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales, where he has taught mathematics since 1981 and served many years as Professor of Mathematics. He is Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Ethics and Society at Notre Dame University, Sydney and Editor of the Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical SocietyRead more

Sponsored by Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP,
Archbishop of Sydney.


Scholarship at the Cathedral is an initiative of the Catholic Archdiocese Sydney, in partnership with The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Institute for Ethics and Society.

Scholarship at the Cathedral will host a series of public lectures at St Mary’s Cathedral delivered by eminent intellectuals (both Australian and international), which serve the purpose of furthering the Archdiocese’s contribution in the forum of intellectual life and public discourse.

4 events per year, with local and international speakers.

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