Special workshop: Beyond Reductionism keynote lecture - CANCELLED
Please note: This event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Beyond Reductionism: Confronting Both Religious Fundamentalism and Scientism to Be Better Freethinkers
All of us who value science and reason as indispensable remedies with which to challenge ignorance and largely emotional behavior around us take stable comfort in the power of scientific methodology to keep us safe from the biasing effects of human emotion. But in practice, can science itself fall prey to the same kinds of emotional pitfalls, fallacies, and even fanaticism we more often associate with religious literalists and fundamentalists? The word “scientism”—used to refer to any worldview that attempts to answer all human questions with science, often allegedly at the expense of other resources in the humanities—is considered an irritating but ultimately empty insult by many scientists.
However, given the capacity of every human being to be swayed by emotions and appearances in contrast to hard evidence, would it not be prudent to hold our practice of science and reason to the same standards of scrutiny that we apply to religious truth claims and thinking? Is there not some value in working towards a common set of standards for meeting any of the foreseeable challenges and questions we may face as a species?
In this workshop, academic philosopher of science Dr. David Koepsell, author and professor specializing in the philosophy of religion J.I. Abbot, and phenomenologist and poet Dr. Charles Stein will lead panel discussions and small group sessions on the range of topics in the emerging “religion and science” field that can be food for thought in facing such present and future human hurdles. A keynote lecture by Dr. Stein on the evening of Friday, November 4, 7pm on the history and philosophy of science will set the parameters and tone for the exchanges to follow all day Saturday, November 5, from 9am to 4pm.
Level and above) Registration:
Lecture & Workshop - $20
Lecture only - $5
Lecture & Workshop - $25
Lecture only - $10
David Koepsell, JD, PhD, is Director of Education for the Center for Inquiry, and formerly served as Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism from 2003–2008. Since then, he has been an associate professor of philosophy at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he teaches ethics and engineering as well as research ethics to masters and PhD students. He holds a law degree (1995) and PhD in Philosophy (1997) from the University at Buffalo, has authored and edited numerous books as well as popular and scholarly articles, and has spoken to audiences worldwide on issues relating to civil rights, secularism, science and technology, ethics, humanism, and ontology. He has provided commentary on these topics in a variety of media outlets including MSNBC, Fox News Channel, The Guardian, NPR, and the Associated Press, among others. His complete CV can be found at davidkoepsell.com.
Charles Stein is a poet and interdisciplinary thinker of considerable accomplishment. The author of over a dozen books of poetry, essays, and criticism, and a highly respected translator of ancient Greek classical texts, including Homeric epic and Parmenides, he has authored articles for Nature: Biotechnology, The Cambridge Handbook of Western Mysticism and Esotericism, and numerous other journals and larger works. His work regularly lies along the intersections of the sciences and humanities.
J.I. Abbot is Professor of English and Philosophy at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, CT. A poet, essayist, and translator with a focus on comparative Indo-Tibetan thought and the nexus of such systems to the philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and aesthetics, Abbot publishes work in such forums as Philosophy and Breaking Bad (forthcoming, Palgrave/Macmillan), The Jerusalem Post, Parabola, Gnosis, Tricycle and elsewhere. An Argument of Dreams, a twenty-year collection of verse, will be published in 2017 by La Bohème / Peripheral Surveys (PS+).
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