August 3-7, 2020
Zoom

The Intersubjective: Experience, Consciousness, Relation

A symposium featuring student speakers from Stanford, Berkeley, Reed College, Thomas Aquinas College, and Proof School

Time & Location

August 3-7, 2020
Zoom

Description


The Intersubjective: Experience, Consciousness, Relation


“The initial relationality of the human person towards the outer world of nature and other persons is primarily receptive, in need of actualizing its latent potentialities from without.” –Norris Clarke S.J.


A student symposium on the intersubjective, covering experience and lifeworld; time, soul, and consciousness; the interconnectedness of souls; philosophy of mind; and friendship and the good life. 


These students—four undergraduates and one high school junior—are all alumni of Zephyr’s high school philosophy programs, directed by Dr. Molly Oshatz. 



Monday, August 3

Maya Ronen (Reed College ’23) – Lead organizer

“A Brief Introduction to Phenomenology”


Imagine being a consciousness, housed in a body, that exists in “the world.” Kind of scary, right? There’s a lot to unpack there, but luckily Edmund Husserl (and friends) are here to help with the science of conscious experience they call “phenomenology.” In this talk, we’ll explore some ideas central to phenomenology, and uncover the ways in which these ideas might help us to live a more intentional life.

– Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLUUm0_bcWU



Tuesday, August 4

Lauro Platas (Thomas Aquinas College ’22)

Distentio: An Augustinian Account of Time and Human Consciousness”


St. Augustine, in his seminal Confessions, offers an account of time that has perdured in the imagination of great thinkers since its publication over 1600 years ago. This presentation will track Augustine’s quest for time in which, stretching through the hidden tunnels of his soul, he grasps the mysterious concept of distentio. An attempt will then be made to resolve this concept to the nature of human being.

– Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnVQ0aEm3mw



Wednesday, August 5

DJ Maceda (Stanford University ’24)

“The Interconnectedness of Souls”


Many a thinker posit the interconnectedness of human souls. In this talk, we will discuss two concepts of this unity: the Oversoul and the collective unconscious. Using excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “The Over-Soul” and Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero With a Thousand Faces,” we can compare and contrast these two views on human nature and come to a fuller understanding of how united we all really are.

– Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgzIGu7ToX8



Thursday, August 6

Peter Matsakis (Proof School ’22)

“Mechanical Minds: Can Machines Think Like Humans?”


This talk will examine the question of whether machines can be conscious, and can therefore participate in the intersubjective. It will provide a philosophical groundwork for working through this problem, and will consider in particular an argument by Roger Penrose, who uses mathematics to contend that digital computers cannot have minds the way that human beings do. 

– Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t40EhqNctRs



Friday, August 7

Francesca Battista (UC Berkeley ’24)

“Is Friendship the Highest Good?”


Friendship is a cornerstone of human existence and something to which we all aspire, yet what indeed is friendship? Is it merely one form of close companionship, or is it a deeper, more soulful experience under which all positive relationships may be categorized? We shall explore the multi-layered nature of friendship, and its historical significance. We shall engage questions concerning the conditions of friendship, the difference between friend and lover, and the possibilities of friendship with animals. Ultimately, we shall aim to identify friendship in its highest form as a central means for the attainment of the good life.

– Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRWCxq6wwHo

Speakers

FRANCESCA BATTISTA

FRANCESCA BATTISTA

University of California, Berkeley

LAURO PLATAS

LAURO PLATAS

Thomas Aquinas College

MAYA RONEN

MAYA RONEN

Reed College

PETER MATSAKIS

PETER MATSAKIS

Proof School

DJ MACEDA ’24

DJ MACEDA ’24

Stanford University

Related Publications

Aristotle – Nicomachean Ethics

Augustine – Confessions

Husserl – Cartesian Meditations

Plato – Symposium

Schütz – The Phenomenology of the Social World

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