WHY SELF-REFLECTION? An Evolutionary Puzzle


Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science

Tulane University, New Orleans; University of Bucharest

Director, the Open Mind Master program in cognitive science, University of Bucharest

will lecture on

WHY SELF-REFLECTION? An Evolutionary Puzzle

Tuesday, November 19, 17.00 – 20.00

Amfiteatrul Titu Maiorescu, Facultatea de Filosofie

Splaiul Independentei 204

For all we know, a self-reflective mind is not present in any other animal species, including nonhuman primates and possibly archaic humans, and is also absent human children before the age of four to five. All these other species handle their existential challenges very well without self-reflecting. The reasons for and the adaptive value of self-reflection in just one species are neither obvious nor easily explained. To add to the mystery, the evolution of self-reflection, possibly rather recent, possibly rather speedy and in only one species, ours, appears to violate the normally incremental, frugal, tinkering and across-species work of natural selection. So, why did a self-reflective mind evolve, for what reasons and how, out of which mental resources, and why only in modern humans? From some new perspectives, this lecture will venture a few evolutionary answers to these difficult questions.

The 8th edition of the Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science

The Emergence of Mathematical Physics in the Context of Experimental Philosophy

ICUB Humanities & Department of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, October 30th – November 1st, 2019

Invited Speakers: Philip Beeley (University of Oxford), Robert Goulding (University of Notre Dame), Andrew Janiak (Duke University), Sébastien Maronne (University of Toulouse), Carla Rita Palmerino (Radboud University Nijmegen), Friedrich Steinle (Technical University Berlin).

As we all know, early modern science came to the world dressed up in mathematical vestments. Much has been said about the shape and colours of these clothes. Traditional grand narratives of the “mathematization of nature” or “mechanization of the world picture” have gradually dissolved into more fine-grained and localized historiographical categories such as “forms of mathematization”, “artisanal knowledge” or “experimental practices”. However, in all these framings, questions about how natural philosophy became amenable to mathematical treatment are still central to understanding the emergence of modern science.

The eighth edition of the Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science aims to explore the diversity in methods, scopes, shapes and colours of some of the—well-known, and less well-known—projects of mathematization. It will focus, more precisely, on mathematical forms which have an experimental component. We aim to bring together scholars coming from different disciplines, thus cutting across the established divisions and traditional temporal delimitations.

The 8th edition of the Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science will be organized, jointly, by the ICUB Humanities and the Department of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, and will mark the end of the research grant “The emergence of mathematical physics in the context of experimental philosophy” (2017-2019).

For any additional information, please contact Ovidiu Babeș (ovidiu.babes@icub.unibuc.ro)

The programme of the colloquium is available here.

Source:  https://icub.unibuc.ro/stec_event/bucharest-colloquium-in-early-modern-science-2019/

CFP: The Philosophy of the Philokalia, at The Annals of the University of Bucharest. Philosophy Series

The Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest is calling for papers on the Philosophy of Philokalia for an issue dedicated to this topic.

Philokalia is a collection of spiritual edification texts compiled by Sts Makarius of Korinth and Nikodemus the Hagiorite (first publication: Venice, 1782; started being published in Romanian in 1946). The collection, which is still used today in private and in public readings, especially during communal gatherings in Orthodox Christian Monasteries, is of specific interest to philosophers not only because it relates to some of the key texts in Orthodox Patristic literature on the soul, the heart and the unification of body and soul, but also because it illuminates key metaphysical issues in Orthodox Philosophy of Religion, such as the nature of divine energeiai and how they differ from ancient Greek and medieval concepts of illumination and union with God.

The list of potential related topics below is indicative of the breadth and scope of potential contributions (and is by no means restrictive).

-Metaphysics and the Philokalia (nature of heart and nous, energeiai, God, process of deification; Nature and Mysticism in Philokalia; soul and death in Philokalia- the artificial and the natural in Philokalia)

-Epistemology and the Philokalia (ways of knowing God in Philokalia; ways of knowing the true self; relation of Freedom and Askesis to Knowledge; the role of the spiritual father in knowing God)

-Ethics and the Philokalia (ancient Greek Ethics and the Philokalic texts; Love and Eros in Philokalia; nepsis, compunction and freedom as preconditions of Ethics in Philokalia; the rope of spiritual father in doing good; protection of the Natural Environment and the role of Nature in salvation; Hesychastic Ethics ).

-Aesthetics and the Philokalia (ancient Greek aesthetic theories and the Philokalic texts; the Ethics and the Aesthetics of Philokalia; differences and similarities between Ethics and Aesthetics in Philokalia; Hesychastic Aesthetics).

-Political and Legal Philosophy and the Philokalia (ancient Greek political theories and monastic life and society in Philokalia; ways of transforming communities and social relationships through the Philokalic texts; culture and civilisation in Philokalia; equality, social freedom and political liberty in Philokalia; legality and morality in the Philokalic texts).

The Philosophy of Philokalia special issue will be published in the journal “The Annals of the University of Bucharest – Philosophy Series” (which is indexed by Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection’s Emerging Sources Citation Index – ESCI, EBSCOhost, Philosopher’s Index with Full Text, ERIH Plus, The Central and Eastern European Online Library – C.E.E.O.L and DOAJ; see for further info https://www.ceeol.com/search/journal-detail?id=1633). This special issue will be edited by a committee of specialists in the field led by Professor Viorel Vizureanu (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucarest, Romania), Professor Dan Chitoiu (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Iasi, Romania) and Dr. C. Athanasopoulos (Open University, UK).

Contacts: Professor Vizureanu (vizureanu@yahoo.com) and Dr C. Athanasopoulos (cathanasop@googlemail.com)

Deadlines: Send a short CV (of no more than 150 words) and an abstract (of no more than 300 words) of your contribution by February 1st, 2020. Full papers (of no more than 12,000 words) are due by 30.11.2020.