Fr. William A. Wallace, O.P., Ad Multos Annos

Fr.William Augustine Wallace, O.P. was born 90 years ago, in 1918, and was ordained to the Priesthood 55 years ago, in 1953. This Sunday he will be honored on the occasion of his 90th birthday with a small reception at the Dominican House of Studies. Ad multos annos!

Fr. Wallace served as a line officer in the United States Navy for five years during Word War II, with a specialty in underwater ordinance and mine warfare. He received the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit medals for exceptionally meritorious service, and entered the Dominican novitiate in 1946.

Fr. Wallace and his 90th Birthday cake, from a celebration at the Dominican House of Studies on Sunday May 11, 2008.

The video interview with Fr. Wallace posted above was filmed in 1982 at the Dominican House of Studies.


: May 11, 1918, in New York City, New York, of William A. Wallace and Louise C. Teufel; U.S. citizen

Degrees, Academic: Manhattan College, New York, B.E.E., 1940; The Catholic University of America, M.S. (Physics), 1952; Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C., S.T.B., 1952; S.T.L., 1954; University of Freiburg, Switzerland, Ph.D. (Philosophy), 1959; Th.D. (Theology), 1962. Honorary: Providence College, Providence, RI, D.Sc. 1973; Molloy College, New York, NY, D.Litt. 1974; Manhattan College, New York, NY, L.H.D. 1975; Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, L.H.D. 1986.

Military Service: U.S. Navy, Ensign to Lieutenant Commander, 1941-1946; research at Naval Ordnance Laboratory, 1941-1942; operations officer, Pacific Ocean Area, 1943-1945, staff of Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1946; decorated Legion of Merit.

Dominican Order
: Entered Novitiate of St. Joseph’s Province, Springfield, KY, July 1946; professed: simple vows, August 1947; solemn vows, August 1950; ordained to the priesthood, June 4, 1953; received faculties, 1954.

Lector of Sacred Theology (S.T.Lr.), 1954; Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.), 1967.

Academic Appointments: Lector in Philosophy, Dominican Houses of Studies in Springfield, Ky., and Dover, Mass., 1954-1962; Lecturer in Philosophy, The Catholic University of America, 1963-1965 and 1968-1970; Regent of Studies, Master of Theology, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C., 1967-1970; Professor of Philosophy and History of Science, The Catholic University of America, 1970-1988; Emeritus, 1988-date; Senior Fellow, Folger Institute, Washington, D.C., 1975-1976; Visiting Professor, West Virginia University, Spring 1980; Visiting Professor, University of Padua, 1983-1984; Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, Committee on the History and Philosophy of Science (CHPS), 1988-present, Associate Member of the Graduate Faculty of Philosophy as of 10-31-91.

Research Appointments
: Test Laboratories, Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, 1940-1941; Naval Ordnance Laboratory, Washington, 1941-1943; Research Associate, History of Science, Harvard University, 1965-1967; Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1976-1977; Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C., 1984.

Publications: As of October 2000, author of 372 publications, of which 20 are books (13 authored, 7 edited) and 4 are separately printed monographs or addresses; 56 are chapters or essays in books edited by others; 73 are articles in journals or proceedings; 96 are entries in encyclopedias; 12 are research or other reports; 111 are book reviews, and 22 are translations, reprints, etc. In addition, forthcoming are 7 essays in books edited by others, and 12 entries in encyclopedias, which will bring the total to 391. Subjects treated are mostly related to science and religion, with the main focus being on the philosophy of science; medieval, Renaissance, and early modern philosophy; and systematic studies in logical methodology.

Editorial Activities: Editor for Philosophy and Science, Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, 6 vols. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1999; Staff Editor for Philosophy, New Catholic Encyclopedia, 15 vols. in preparation from 1961 to 1966, published by McGraw-Hill, 1967; consultant for three supplementary volumes, published in 1974, 1979, and 1989; Director General, Leonine Commission,1976-1987, during which time five folio volumes of critical Latin editions of Thomas Aquinas’s works were published.

Professional Societies and Activities
: American Catholic Philosophical Association, Council 1962-1964, Vice President 1968-1969, President 1969-1970; History of Science Society, Council 1974-1977, 1988-1990; Philosophy of Science Association, Nominating Committee 1980-1982.

Honors and Distinctions: Sigma Xi; Phi Beta Kappa; Manhattan College Alumni Society Award for Achievement, 1967; Aquinas Medal of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 1983; Catholic University Alumni Society Award for Achievement in Philosophy, 1986 [see also Honorary Degrees, above].



1959 The Scientific Methodology of Theodoric of Freiberg. A Case Study of the Relationship Between Science and Philosophy. Studia Friburgensia, N.S. 26, Fribourg: The University Press, 1959. pp. xviii + 395.

1962 The Role of Demonstration in Moral Theology. A Study of Methodology in St. Thomas Aquinas. Texts and Studies 2. Washington, D.C.: The Thomist Press, 1962. Pp. x + 244.

1967a Cosmogony [St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Vol. 10 (1a.65-74)]. New York and London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1967. Pp. xxiii + 255.

1967b New Catholic Encyclopedia, 15 vols., New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1967. Staff Editor, Philosophy and related fields, edited some 900 articles comprising about 1,375,000 words; also contributed 31 articles.

1972 Causality and Scientific Explanation. Vol. 1. Medieval and Early Classical Science. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1972. xii + 288 pp. Reprinted in 1981.

1974 Causality and Scientific Explanation. Vol. 2. Classical and Contemporary Science. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1974. Pp. xi + 422. Reprinted in 1981.

1977a The Elements of Philosophy: A Compendium for Philosophers and Theologians, New York: Alba House, 1977. Pp. xx + 342.

1977b Galileo’s Early Notebooks: The Physical Questions. A Translation from the Latin, with Historical and Paleographical Commentary. Notre Dame: The University of Notre Dame Press, 1977. Pp. xiv + 321.

1979 From a Realist Point of View: Essays on the Philosophy of Science. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1979. Pp. xii + 376.

1981 Prelude to Galileo: Essays on Medieval and Sixteenth-Century Sources of Galileo’s Thought. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 62. Dordrecht-Boston: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1981.

1983 From a Realist Point of View: Essays on the Philosophy of Science. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, Second Edition, 1983. Pp. x + 340.

1984 Galileo and His Sources: The Heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo’s Science. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.

1986 Reinterpreting Galileo (editor), Studies in Philosophy and History of Philosophy 15, Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1986.

1988 Galileo Galilei, Tractatio de praecognitionibus et praecognitis and Tractatio de demonstratione (co-editor).Transcribed from the Latin autograph by W. F. Edwards, with an introduction, notes, and commentary by W. A. Wallace. Padua: Editrice Antenore, 1988.

1991 Galileo, the Jesuits and the Medieval Aristotle, Collected Studies Series, CS346. Aldershot (UK): Variorum Publishing, 1991.

1992a Galileo’s Logic of Discovery and Proof. The Background, Content, and Use of His Appropriated Treatises on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 137. Dordrecht- Boston-London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992. Xxiii + 323 pp.

1992b Galileo’s Logical Treatises. A Translation, With Notes and Commentary, of His Appropriated Latin Questions on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 138. Dordrecht- Boston-London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1992. xix + 239 pp.

1996a The Modeling of Nature: Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Nature in Synthesis, Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1996. xx + 450 pp.

1996b Albertus Magnus (guest editor). American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2. “Foreword,” pp. 1-6. “Albert the Great’s Inventive Logic: His Exposition of the Topics of Aristotle,” pp. 11-39.

1999 Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (editor for philosophy and science), 6 vols., New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1999; contributed 26 articles; planned, solicited, and edited some 150 entries in philosophy, science, technology, and medicine.

Fr. Wallace lecturing on the philosophy of nature: