• The Fragility of Life and the Meaningless of Existence

    Daniel Simon, Jr. Our existence as able physical and mental bodies is a miracle of biology. The complexity of the human creature and its development stage are a marvel of improbability. Our existence in this corner of the cosmos, living and striving is an amazing feat of reality.

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  • Free Will vs. Determinism

    El Fenix

    David Pruessner, JD To what extent do we freely make choices in life? Or, to what extent are our choices pre-determined by our DNA, our past, our environment, or by fate itself?

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  • Compassion: The Value of the 21st Century

    El Fenix

    Charlie Barker, M.D This talk will address what we mean by compassion, the science of compassion, the relationship between kindness, empathy, and compassion, and a more in-depth description of the "golden rule," which is found in every religious and non-religious faith tradition.

  • The Truth About Belief, and How it Can All Go So Terribly Wrong

    Jeffrey Levine This talk will identify a range of strategies and tactics that are typically employed when pursuing motivated reasoning to achieve a particular desired conclusion. Owing to "bias blindness", those who are most susceptible to bias are generally unaware of the degree to which their capacity for rational cognition has been corrupted.

  • The Philosophy of Research: How Does One Approach Documenting Truth?

    Bryan Rigg, Ph.D. How does one find truth? How does one understand the world? This lecture addresses the philosophy of history, exploring how evidence is gathered, analyzed, and ultimately presented to the public.

  • Confronting Death

    El Fenix

    Katherine Davies, Ph.D. This presentation will consist primarily in the group discussion of a selection of quotes from philosophers of death across the history of philosophy.

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  • Environmental History of Dharmic Communities

    Dr. Pankaj Jain. Traditional communities in India have is no such thing as “religion” in their lives as there is no separation of sacred from profane. Therefore, there is no such thing as environmentalism distinct and separate in their lives. The traditional, comparatively much less modernized, groups do not see religion, ecology, and ethics as separate entities.

  • The Philosophy of Ancient India

    El Fenix

    Bill Bernstein Vedanta is the underlying philosophy of the ancient works of India: the Vedas. This talk will cover highlights of that philosophy and also encompass that tradition’s abstract concept of money.

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  • The Changing Political Landscape

    El Fenix

    Bradley Carter, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at SMU The United States, as is true of the Western world at large, is experiencing very real political changes, disconnects, and disruptions. The way we have practiced politics since World Was II is being questioned. The liberal order based on somewhat elitist democracy and free market economics is being challenged, as are the political elites that established and managed that world by various shades of Populism. Even the importance of the “expert” is subject to questioning. How can we understand this? How can we deal with it?

  • Emergence and the Science of Miracles

    El Fenix

    Paul Tobolowsky, M.D. We exist and enjoy the Dallas Philosophers Forum because lifeless atoms clump together to form living, thinking organisms. The amazing leaps in the organization of atoms that have created us are termed “Emergence,” and we are proof that remarkable processes occur every moment of our lives.