Friday, April 7, 2017

Mind and emptiness: perspectives on the nature of consciousness

This topic will be investigated at a conference put on by Dartmouth's Institute for Cross-disciplinary Engagement. Their blurb:

"What is consciousness? For all the accomplishments of Western science and philosophy, it seems that explanation of conscious awareness itself remains elusive. Thomas Nagel, in his 2012 book Mind and Cosmos, writes, 'Consciousness is the most conspicuous obstacle to a comprehensive naturalism that relies only on the resources of physical science.'

"While in the West reality was explored by careful study of the natural world, in the Buddhist traditions of Asia reality was explored with no less rigor as a matter of consciousness. We propose a conference to bring together three perspectives on consciousness: the scientist, the philosopher, and the Buddhist.

"Our aim is to facilitate a dialogue across distinct areas of study, and between science and 'religion,' in a changing world where openness and acceptance of different views often contend with anger and fear. Consciousness is not merely an academic concern, but one that demands a ‘meeting of minds’ across all that divides us."

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