How does subjective experience arise from neural computation? What accounts for the transition from brain to mind? From what we read in the popular press, one might think that science is on the verge of explaining the connection between neurobiology and subjective experience and perhaps even explaining away our experience.
Neuroscientists, however, following the lead of philosopher David Chalmers, call this the hard problem. They do not at present agree whether this problem can be solved at all or whether it is inherently beyond full explanation. Theologians like Lluís Oviedo call it the greatest challenge now facing religion and theology from the sciences. This year’s Advanced Seminar, co-chaired by Gayle Woloschak and Philip Hefner will focus on this hard problem.
Offered by the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS), the Advanced Seminar in Religion and Science is designed as a research seminar for faculty and graduate students. Course credit is available via registration through the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) or cross-registration through member schools of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). All participants, whether taking the seminar for credit or not, are asked to pre-register with the seminar chairs by contacting ZCRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-256-0670. For more information about ZCRS, please visit www.zygoncenter.org. For more information about Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, visit www.zygonjournal.org.
Advanced Seminar Schedule - Spring 2008
|February 4, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||The Seminar Theme Why is it Important? Where Does it Lead?||Gayle Woloschak, molecular biology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Philip Hefner, theology emeritus, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
|February 11, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||The Hard Problem and Theology: Ontology, Causality, and the Divine||Gregory Peterson, religious studies, philosophy, South Dakota State University|
|February 18, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||Cognitive Neuroscience and Consciousness: Theoretical and Methodological Issues||Michael Spezio, neuroscience, Scripps College and California Institute of Technology|
|February 25, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World||Owen Flanagan, philosophy, Duke University|
|March 3, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||The Experience of Consciousness||Mary Gerhart, religious studies emerita, Hobart & William Smith Colleges; Senior Fellow, Martin Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion|
|March 10, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||Perspectives from Cognitive Psychology||Sian Beilock, cognitive psychology, University of Chicago|
|March 17, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||Philosophical Approaches to the Hard Problem||Leslie Marsh, Centre for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Sussex|
|March 24, 2008||NO SESSION: Reading Week|
|March 31, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||Perspectives from Developmental Psychology||Susan Hespos, developmental psychology, Northwestern University|
|April 7, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||The Hard Problem and the Holy||Mladen Turk, religious studies, Elmhurst College|
|April 14, 21, 28, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||Presentations by seminar members|
|May 5, 2008||7:00 - 10:00 PM||Wrap-up|