Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Buddhism, Mind, and Cognitive Science - UC Berkeley Conference


Buddhism, Mind, and Cognitive Science Conference, April 25-26, 2014, UC Berkeley

This conference is dedicated to the exploration of the methodological underpinnings of the current encounter between Buddhism and cognitive science. Among the presenters and panelists are:
  • Dan Arnold (Philosophy of Religion, University of Chicago)
  • Lawrence Barsalou (Psychology, Emory University)
  • Christian Coseru (Philosophy, College of Charleston)
  • Georges Dreyfus (Buddhist Studies, Williams College)
  • John Dunne (Buddhist Studies, Emory University)
  • Laurence Kirmayer (Psychiatry, McGill University)
  • Antoine Lutz (Neuroscience Research Center)
  • Lyon Thomas Metzinger (Philosophy, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz)
  • Clifford Saron (Neuroscience, UC Davis)
  • Robert Sharf (Buddhist Studies, UC Berkeley)
  • Rebecca Todd (Psychology, University of British Columbia)
  • Evan Thompson (Philosophy, University of British Columbia)
  • John Tresch (History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Carol Worthman (Anthropology, Emory University)
This conference is dedicated to the exploration of the methodological underpinnings of the current encounter between Buddhism and cognitive science. Recently this encounter has been criticized for failing to take account of the historical and cultural complexities of Buddhist thought and practice; failing to reflect the most recent developments in cognitive science; neglecting the hermeneutic issues that complicate attempts to relate traditional Buddhist psychology to contemporary scientific theories; and neglecting traditional Buddhist epistemologies that are incompatible with the “neurophysicalism” that motivates some of the scientific research. Is there a way to mitigate the methodological (historical, hermeneutic, philosophical) quandaries that threaten to unravel the Buddhism-cognitive science dialogue? Is there a way to bring these disparate traditions into conversation without sacrificing the intellectual depth and sophistication of each? Or is such an endeavor misguided in principle? Is it merely another in a long history of attempts to legitimize Buddhism by claiming its compatibility with science? This conference is interested in exploring how, if at all, the encounter might move forward.

Further event details and registration information can be found on the Buddhist Studies website.
Part of the Thinking the Self Initiative.

Session 1:

Welcoming Remarks
Robert Sharf (Buddhist Studies), University of California, Berkeley

Buddhism and Cognitive Science: How Can the Dialogue Move Forward?
Evan Thompson (Philosophy), University of British Columbia

Contemplating a Way Forward: Meditation Research Unnaturalized, but not Unnatural
Clifford Saron (Neuroscience), University of California, Davis

Session 2 Presentations:

Chair: Robert Sharf (Buddhist Studies), University of California, Berkeley

Presentations:
  • John Dunne (Buddhist Studies), Emory University Antoine Lutz
  • Lawrence Barsalou (Psychology), Emory University
  • Antoine Lutz (Neuroscience), Neuroscience Research Center, Lyon
  • Rebecca Todd (Psychology), University of British Columbia
  • Laurence Kirmayer (Psychiatry), McGill University
  • Carol Worthman (Anthropology), Emory University

Session Two Panel Discussion:

  • Robert Sharf (Buddhist Studies), University of California, Berkeley
  • John Dunne (Buddhist Studies), Emory University Antoine Lutz
  • Lawrence Barsalou (Psychology), Emory University
  • Antoine Lutz (Neuroscience), Neuroscience Research Center, Lyon
  • Rebecca Todd (Psychology), University of British Columbia
  • Laurence Kirmayer (Psychiatry), McGill University
  • Carol Worthman (Anthropology), Emory University
  • Evan Thompson (Philosophy), University of British Columbia
  • Clifford Saron (Neuroscience), University of California, Davis
  • Christian Coseru (Philosophy), College of Charleston
  • Thomas Metzinger (Philosophy), Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • Dan Arnold (Philosophy of Religion), University of Chicago
  • Georges Dreyfus (Buddhist Studies), Williams College
  • John Tresch (History and Sociology of Science), University of Pennsylvania 

Session Three Presentations:

Chair: Evan Thompson (Philosophy), University of British Columbia

Presentations:
  • Christian Coseru (Philosophy), College of Charleston
  • Thomas Metzinger (Philosophy), Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • Dan Arnold (Philosophy of Religion), University of Chicago
  • Georges Dreyfus (Buddhist Studies), Williams College
  • Robert Sharf (Buddhist Studies), University of California, Berkeley
  • John Tresch (History and Sociology of Science), University of Pennsylvania 

Session Three Panel Discussion:

  • Robert Sharf (Buddhist Studies), University of California, Berkeley
  • John Dunne (Buddhist Studies), Emory University Antoine Lutz
  • Lawrence Barsalou (Psychology), Emory University
  • Antoine Lutz (Neuroscience), Neuroscience Research Center, Lyon
  • Rebecca Todd (Psychology), University of British Columbia
  • Laurence Kirmayer (Psychiatry), McGill University
  • Carol Worthman (Anthropology), Emory University
  • Evan Thompson (Philosophy), University of British Columbia
  • Clifford Saron (Neuroscience), University of California, Davis
  • Christian Coseru (Philosophy), College of Charleston
  • Thomas Metzinger (Philosophy), Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • Dan Arnold (Philosophy of Religion), University of Chicago
  • Georges Dreyfus (Buddhist Studies), Williams College
  • John Tresch (History and Sociology of Science), University of Pennsylvania
This conference was made possible by a grant from The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation.

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