The BSPR’s Tenth Conference: Atheisms. September 11-13, 2013.
Dr. Pamela Anderson (Oxford)
Professor Stephen R. L. Clark (Liverpool)
Professor Owen Flanagan (Duke)
Professor Robin Le Poidevin (Leeds)
Buddhists, Epicureans, Christians, Pantheists, Materialists, Liberal Humanists, Transhumanists, Nietszcheans and Idolaters have all at different times been content to be called “atheists”, and even the most ardent of “New Atheists” will insist that they need have no “positive” beliefs, except to reject whatever God or notion of God it is that they oppose. There need therefore be no one doctrine or way of life identified as “Atheism”. The question is rather what forms of life and thought are to be reckoned “atheistical” and why they might (or might not) seem attractive.
Nor need the rejection of whatever God or Gods are in question always be a matter of intellectual conviction rather than politics (as anti-clericalism) or broadly “spiritual” practice (requiring the rejection of any authority superior to the individual’s own will, or to the State’s judgement).
Please see website for additional information and details.
Psychology and the Other Conference 2013
The Interhuman and Intersubjective: An Intersection of Discourses
Eric Fromm bemoaned the divorce of psychology from philosophical and religious traditions and, in many ways, this artificial separation from our historical and conceptual siblings has only increased. The purpose of this organization is to provide venues that enrich conversations at the intersections of philosophy, psychology, and theological/religious studies, particularly emphasizing scholarship around the notion of the “Other.” The term “Other” constitutes a shared space for continental thought, theology, and a variety of psychological discourses. This phenomenon bears significantly on ethical, epistemological, and phenomenological scholarship in each of these fields. As an interdisciplinary organization housed in and graciously supported by Lesley University’s Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, we are committed to developing conferences and publications that explore the rich discourses that have emerged around the concept of the “Other” in various intellectual traditions, ranging from phenomenological work like that of Emmanuel Levinas to the work of John Zizioulas in theology or that of Jessica Benjamin in psychoanalysis.
Lewis Aron (New York University)
Tina Chanter (DePaul University)
Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research)
Donna Orange (Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity)
Ann Pellegrini (New York University)
Malcolm Owen Slavin (Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis)
Other featured and invited speakers:
Jessica Benjamin (New York University)
Scott Churchill (University of Dallas)
Philip Cushman (Antioch University)
Ruella Frank (Center for Somatic Studies)
Mark Freeman (College of the Holy Cross)
Sue Grand (New York University)
Lynne Jacobs (Pacific Gestalt Institute/Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis)
Claire Katz (Texas A&M)
Dennis Klein (Kean University)
Richard Kearney (Boston College)
Lynne Layton (Harvard Medical School)
Ana-Maria Rizzuto (PINE Psychoanalytic Center)
Jean-Marie Robine (Institut Français de Gestalt-thérapie)
Donna San Antonio (Lesley University)
Gordon Wheeler (Esalen Institute)
Numerous pre-conference workshops, as well:
Donna Orange: The Suffering Stranger (October 3rd, $250)
In this pre-conference workshop, Donna Orange will bring a philosophical (and clinical) eye toward five major thinkers in psychoanalysis – Sándor Ferenczi, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann, D. W. Winnicott, Heinz Kohut, and Bernard Brandchaft – investigating the hermeneutic approach of each, engaging these innovative thinkers precisely as interpreters, and as those who have seen the face and heard the voice of the other in the ethical sense.
Why the Other? A Philosophical Survey (October 3rd, $250)
How similar is the other to the self? How does her suffering rank alongside the suffering of the self? What assumptions can be made about the other person based on my own experiences? To what degree does the suffering of the other person render me responsible?
This workshop will contextualize the critical question of the other, with particular attention to the appearance of psychology in the trajectory of western thought about otherness. Psychology appears during the heyday of modern philosophy, at a point in time when alterity and debt were frequently subordinated to grand metaphysical systems. Philosophy has come to challenge these systems, which Emmanuel Levinas considers “totalizing” and “violent,” setting up an important conflict within the fields of psychology.
Tracking Emergent Experience: Gestalt Therapy at the Intersection of the Interhuman & the Intersubjective (October 2nd & 3rd, $300)
This pre-conference workshop introduces participants to contemporary gestalt therapy as an experiential practice at the intersection of the interhuman and intersubjective. Not only will participants learn the relevant concepts of contemporary gestalt therapy, but they will also experience them directly as the workshop develops. Participants will learn by doing how gestalt therapy tracks emergent experience. They will become familiar with how contemporary gestalt therapy focuses on various kinds of meetings of the self and other, which is called “contacting.” These meetings are the basis for gestalt therapy as an approach at the intersection of the interhuman and intersubjective. This workshop will offer a lasting support for the participants since they can take the relationships they form and the concepts they understand with them for the rest of the conference. Implications for psychotherapy, philosophy, and theology will be explored. Didactic, experiential exercise, and discussion will be employed.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Thomistic Studies and the John Paul II Forum, the First US conference of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Thomas Aquinas: Teacher of Humanity:
Explores the significance for the 21st century of Thomas Aquinas’ teaching on humanity. Is it still meaningful to talk about “humanity” or “inhumanity”? What challenges do evolution, eugenics and the trans-humanist movement present for a concept of “humanity”? Is the “human” a viable standard in a world with many cultures and traditions? Papers are solicited on these and related topics.
Deadline for receipt of papers: July 1, 2013
Please see the website for additional information.
Deadline for paper submissions: April 2, 2013
With Richard Swinburne as this year’s EPS plenary speaker.
Come be part of an exciting movement that is making a difference in the academy, the church, and the world! Mingle with like-minded thoughtful Christians and interact with leading Christian scholars.
Every year since 2001, the EPS has brought some of the brightest Christian thinkers and spokespersons to a local city of the U.S. in order to help people think Christianly about challenges to their faith. Joining us for this year’s conference will be Lee Strobel, Dr. Gary Habermas, Dr. William Lane Craig, Mark Mittelberg, Greg Koukl and many more.
Thirty speakers in keynote and multiple breakout sessions will present not only on standard topics in apologetics—arguments for God’s existence or evidences for Jesus’ resurrection. Our speakers not only cover “conventional” areas in apologetics, such as arguments for the existence of God or evidences for Jesus’ resurrection. They will also be addressing a diverse range of cutting-edge topics on the reasonableness and defensibility of Christianity.
Postcolonial theory is one of the most influential theoretical strands of our time and it has a profound impact on the study of various fields within Jewish Studies. Yet—with a few exceptions—its relevance for the study of Jewish thought has not been sufficiently addressed in scholarship. We would like to organize a panel around possible connections between Jewish thought and postcolonial theory for the upcoming AJS conference in Boston (December 2013).
The proposed panel will bring Jewish thought into dialogue with postcolonial theory: How does Jewish philosophy serve as the colonized other of general philosophy? What are the power-relations involved in different modes of dialogical thinking? To what extent do colonial fantasies, and critique of them, shape Jewish political theory? Can Jewish thinkers be considered as writing from a subaltern position? What is the meaning of debates on Jewish essence in a post-essentialist age?
We invite submissions that deal with these and other questions related to the theme. Please send 350 words abstract and a short biographical paragraph by April 21st to Yaniv Feller (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Free Will: 2nd Annual Conference
We have an intuitive sense of ourselves as free agents, capable of effectively controlling ourselves and altering the external world. We typically view ourselves as the cause of our actions, our thoughts, and our decisions. Yet, what reasons do we have to believe that we are free, or that at any moment we have the capacity to be free? The more we learn from physics, neurosciences, biology, medicine and psychology about how we and the world operate, the more it seems there is no room for a genuinely free will.
The theme should be interpreted broadly. Proposal topics may include, but are not limited to (for others, please see the website):
- What is a free will—is it a capacity, a “trying,” a choice, a decision, or something else?
- Does having a free will give meaning to human life, to human existence, or can a human life be meaningful without believing in free will?
- Is a capacity for a free will the reason humans have moral agency (assuming they do—which is, itself, a questionable assumption)? If a human lacks the capacity to will freely, does she lack moral agency? lack moral worth? lack moral personhood?
- What are the social and cultural costs of assuming that moral culpability necessitates having free will?
- Can neurological studies of decision-making processes provide insight into the notion of free will–why or why not?
- Do all humans have free will at all moments of their life? What are the social, moral and/or legal implications if they do not? What policies do we have in place, or what policies should we have in place, to recognize and accommodate individuals with a temporarily or permanently diminished capacity to will freely?
- Assuming that there is free will, do children have free will? Is free will a capacity that develops slowly (matures)? If so, what exactly is the nature of a partially developed or incompletely developed capacity for free will?
Submissions of abstracts (not exceeding 800 words) are invited for presentation of papers (not exceeding 3000 words). Please email your abstract as a Word.doc prepared for anonymous review. Please include your full contact information in the email only, including institutional affiliation. We welcome proposals for panels; if you wish to submit a panel proposal, send all the abstracts of the panel participants and biographical information in one email and clearly indicate your preference for participating in a panel. All submissions, either for papers or for panel presentations should be of previously non-published work.
We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, the social sciences, critical studies (including gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, race studies, and critical legal theory…), law, education, linguistics, the neurosciences, and the pharmaceutical and medical sciences as well as other relevant disciplines and fields.
Hang out with philosophers at Tapastrie in downtown South Bend. There will be opportunity to purchase food and drinks.