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The Intersubjective: Experience, Consciousness, Relation

A symposium on the phenomenon of intersubjectivity, covering topics related to experience and lifeworld; time, soul, and consciousness; interconnectedness of souls; philosophy of mind; and friendship and the good life. These students are all alumni of Zephyr’s high school philosophy programs.

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The Intersubjective: Experience, Consciousness, Relation
The Intersubjective: Experience, Consciousness, Relation

Time & Location

Aug 03, 2020, 5:00 PM PDT – Aug 07, 2020, 6:00 PM PDT


About the Event

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) – Director

“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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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