Upcoming Meetings

From: Steve
Sent on: Thursday, July 2, 2009 6:19 PM
Greetings Cave philosophers,

I want to let you know about a couple of exciting Plato?s Cave meetings that are coming up. Our July and August meetings will draw on some of the same philosophical concepts that we have studied in our most recent meetings.

Remember, in March we took a look at Decartes? metaphysical dualism of mind and matter which, although rejected by most modern western scientists, it is a concept still debated and largely accepted by western popular culture. In April we considered Bromberg?s suggestion that ethics should be a branch of science rather than philosophy because of the confusing and paradoxical language of ethics used by philosophers. In May we took a brow-beating from Chris Hedges? in his rant against both religious and atheist fundamentalism. Then at our June meeting, we had a very insightful discussion of Emmanuel Kant?s ?transcendental idealism?. But, as interesting as it was, we were only able to scratch the surface of the depth and breadth of the great philosopher?s ideas. Kant argued that humans are able to partially transcend the empirical limits proclaimed by Hume and glimpse into the realm of metaphysical concepts.

In July and August, we will revisit many of the ideas of Decartes, Bromberg, Hedges and Kant as we consider the disciplines of General Semantics and Neurophilosophy.

General Semantics is an educational discipline created by Alfred Korzybski (1879?1950) during the years 1919 to 1933. It is not the same as ?semantics?. General Semantics is viewed as a kind of mental hygiene that enables practitioners to avoid ideational traps built into natural language and "common sense" assumptions, thereby enabling them to think more clearly and effectively. This will be the subject of our July meeting; so, in addition to your own research, check the Plato?s Cave files for information on this subject.

In August we will examine the concepts of ?free-will? and the mind-brain conundrum through the prism of neurophilosophers like Patricia Churchland, Warren S. Brown, and Ginger Campbell.

Dr. Ginger Campbell has an excellent podcast website devoted to neuroscience. This one is a particularly good introduction to the subject:

Thu, 8 February 2007 - #5-Brain Science Podcast: Consciousness
Brain Science Podcast #5 Consciousness: I start out by accidently calling this episode 6. This is our first exploration of the big question of consciousness. We start with a brief review of some key philosophical questions, which include the so-called hard problem of how the physical brain can produce subjective experience. We also discuss dualism and introduce the question of free will. The show notes at http://brainsciencepodcast.com will include references for those wanting to explore consciousness further.
http://brainsciencepodcast.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=179228

Another good one is her review of the book ?Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?? by Nancey Murphy and Warren Brown. You can listen to that podcast here:
http://brainsciencepodcast.libsyn.com/

Also, don?t miss Dr. Campbell?s interview with neurophilosopher, Patricia Churchland:
#55 Brain Science Podcast: Interview with Patricia Churchland
Episode 55 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with philosopher Patricia Churchland from the University of California in San Diego. Churchland is a pioneer in the area now known as neurophilosophy. In this interview we talk about the relationship between philosophy and neuroscience. Churchland has a unique perspective on the share goals of those interested in philosophy of mind and neuroscience.
http://brainsciencepodcast.libsyn.com/?search_string=Churchland&Submit=Search&search=1

As Plato?s Cave members you can post your own comments and suggestions regarding these subjects on the Plato?s Cave web site as well as add relevant documents to the files section.

Meeting announcements will be posted on the Plato?s Cave website soon; so, watch for them.

-Steve

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