Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How Analytic Philosophy has Failed Cognitive Science?

Robert Brandom is Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, a fellow of the Center for the Philosophy of Science, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His interests center on philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of logic. He has published more than 50 articles on these and related areas. He is currently at work on a book on Hegel's Phenomenology He has been a Nelson Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan (1990), delivered the Hempel Lectures at Princeton (1994), and the Townsend Lectures at Berkeley (1997). (bio taken here)

"How Analytic Philosophy Has Failed Cognitive Science," Collège de France, 26 May, 2009

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Aggression: The Politics and Psychobiology of Evil

"The motive hunting of motiveless malignity" is a famous line that Coleridge wrote in his copy of Othello. Everybody has a little larceny in their souls, but there are those singular human beings who seem to be agents of Lucifer. Hitler certainly represents a form of evil that falls outisde the scale of human psychological consideration. But where, for example, do huxters, grifters, scam artists, and frauds stand in this context? Dahmer and other serial killers might qualify, but their acts seem to beg some kind of psychological understanding. And how do catastrophic events like Pompeii or, in recent history, the Tsunamis in Southeast Asia reconcile with a beneficent view of nature and belief in a higher power or God? If there is a God, is such a being or force indifferent or even retributive? And what is the effect of extreme manifestations of evil on our faith in the enlightened notions of science and reason? These and other questions will be addressed in this final roundtable in the series, On Aggression.

Richard Bernstein is Vera List Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of Radical Evil: A Philosophical Interrogation and The Abuse of Evil: The Corruption of Politics and Religion since 9/11.

Jacques Lezra is Professor of Comparative Literature, Spanish, Portuguese and English, and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University. Previously he taught at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, at Yale, Harvard, and at the Bread Loaf School of English. Lezra's research concerns the literature, philosophy, and visual culture of the early modern period (Shakespeare, Cervantes, Descartes, Velazquez), as well as contemporary ethical philosophy. He has published Unspeakable Subjects: The Genealogy of the Event in Early Modern Europe and edited Spanish Republic and Depositions: Althusser, Balibar, Macherey and the Labor of Reading. His 1992 translation into Spanish of Paul de Man's Blindness and Insight won the PEN Critical Editions Award. Lezra’s next book, Wild Materialism: The Ethic of Terror in the Modern Republic, will be published in 2009. Economía política del alma: El suceso cervantino, a book on the political economy of the soul in Cervantes, is also in press and will appear this fall.

Edward Nersessian is Co-Director of the Philoctetes Center. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weil-Cornell Medical College, and a Training & Supervising Psychoanalyst at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.

Kent Reynolds is a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Biblical Languages Instructor at the Union Theological Seminary. Previously, Dr. Reynolds served as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his current research, Dr. Reynolds focuses on the pedagogic nature of texts in the Hebrew Bible, especially in the area of character formation, and how these texts were received and transmitted by the earliest interpreters. He has several studies in process, including a book on Psalm 119, a collection of essays, and conference presentations. Dr. Reynolds has published an article in Vetus Testamentum and has a forthcoming article in Zeitschrift für Althebräistik.

Joel Whitebook is a philosopher and practicing psychoanalyst. He is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and, beginning in fall of 2010, he will be Director of the Psychoanalytic Studies Program in Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is writing an intellectual biography of Freud for Cambridge University Press and his book, Der gefesselte Odysseus: Studien zur Kritischen Theorie und Psychoanalyse has just been published by Campus Verlag.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Psychotherapy in the Age of Neuroreceptors and Genes

Is there a place for dynamic psychotherapy in the age of genes and neurotransmitters? This roundtable will attempt to situate the role of intensive psychotherapy among the various options available today for the treatment of serious mental disorders. Panelists will present and examine different viewpoints and assess the efficacy of divergent approaches.

Brian Koehler is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst with a strong neuroscience background. He is in the private practice of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in New York City and on the teaching faculty at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, at the School of Social Work at New York University, as well as at a number of other psychoanalytic training institutes in New York City and State. Dr. Koehler is a scientific advisor and former reviewer for the journal, Schizophrenia Bulletin, and a reviewer for the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

Ze’ev Levin is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Residency Training in Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine. He received his medical degree at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was a resident in Psychiatry and Chief Resident at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. A graduate of the Columbia Psychoanalytic Centre for Training and Research, he has been the Associate Director and Director of the residency training in-patient unit at Bellevue Hospital Center. In addition to his training job, Dr. Levin has a private practice in Manhattan.

Charles Marmar is the newly appointed Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. Most recently, Dr. Marmar served as Professor and Vice Chair at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health and Director of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Research Program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He has served as the President of both the Society of Psychotherapy Research and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and served as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Psychotherapy Research and Practice and the Journal of Traumatic Stress. He has been a reviewer for The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Biological Psychiatry, The American Journal of Psychiatry and The Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Ira Steinman is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco. He is the author of Treating the "Untreatable": Healing in the Realms of Madness, a chronicle of the successful, at times curative, out-patient intensive psychotherapy of 12 previously "untreatable" patients. Steinman has focused on schizophrenia for 45 years. His early training ranged from working with R.D. Laing to running the psychiatric drug component of the National Academy of Sciences' Drug Efficacy Study, which evaluated all the antipsychotic medications available at the time to studies at Chestnut Lodge and Mount Zion Hospital.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Claude Levi-Strauss

Claude Lévi-Strauss (28 November 1908 – 30 October 2009) was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called the "father of modern anthropology".

When young, Lévi-Strauss organized expeditions into the French countryside, and later studied in Paris, where he went on to teach. He later traveled and did research in Brazil with his first wife, Dina. Returning to France, he was drafted into the French army, but after France was invaded by the Nazis, he escaped to New York, where he taught at The New School for Social Research. In 1948, he returned to France.

Levi-Strauss never accepted the notion that Western civilization was unique and privileged: in his contact with Indigenous peoples in Brazil and Indigenous peoples in North America, he emphasized that the 'savage' mind had the same structures to the civilized mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere. These observations culminated in his famous book Tristes Tropiques, which positioned him as one of the central figures in the structuralist school of thought, where his ideas reached into fields including the humanities and philosophy. Structuralism has been defined as "the search for the underlying patterns of thought in all forms of human activity."

He was honored by universities throughout the world and held the chair of Social Anthropology at the Collège de France (1959–1982); he was elected a member of the Académie Française in 1973. (bio taken here)

The Birth of Historical Societies (Hitchcock Lectures)
October 3 and 4, 1984. Berkeley Language Center, UC Berkeley
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