The Great Debate: Whatever Happened to the Subject?
Thursday 18th March 2004, 7pm
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International Centre for Life
Newcastle upon Tyne
Convened by: Mo Lovatt and
Chair: Caspar Hewett
Rita Carter, author Consciousness,
Mapping the Mind
author 'Death of the Subject' Explained
Raymond Tallis, author The Hand: A Philosophical Enquiry into Human
Being, In Defence of Realism,
The Enemies of Hope: A Critique of Contemporary Pessimism
Are we masters of our destiny?
Can we really influence the direction of change?
From the Enlightenment onwards the idea of the subject has had a central place
in thought about the special nature of humanity. This is a description of human
beings as active agents doing things for reasons and shaping the world to their
own ends. Yet, in recent years, fields as diverse as neuroscience, literary
criticism and Evolutionary Psychology have converged on a very different vision
of what we are. The postmodern era has brought us the end of history and the
death of intention. Evolutionary theory and philosophy have brought us a vision of
humans as machines; zombies experiencing the illusion of choice and intentionality.
Why is this? Does this reflect a new understanding of what we really are or are
these interpretations more to do with the way we view ourselves today?
This session will examine differing views of human nature and
will discuss the meaning of subjectivity and agency in the modern context.
Come along, hear the arguments and have your say.
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