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Canadian professor to present two philosophy lectures

Edward Slingerland, associate professor of Asian studies and Canada research chair in Chinese thought and embodied cognition, will present the 39th annual Walter Powell-Linfield College Philosophy Lectures Monday and Tuesday, May 17 and 18, at Linfield College.

Slingerland will speak on “What Science Offers the Humanities: Taking the Humanities Beyond Dualism” on Monday, May 17. On Tuesday, May 18, he will speak on “What the Humanities Offer Science: Toward a ‘Second Wave’ of Consilience.” Both lectures will be at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall with receptions following.

Monday’s talk, “What Science Offers the Humanities: Taking the Humanities Beyond Dualism,” will argue that, for the humanities to progress, they need to move beyond the mind-body dualism that underlies the current strict separation between the humanities and natural sciences. It will conclude with two concrete case examples, taken from ethics and Chinese thought, to illustrate how adopting a consilient framework would impact the work of humanists.

Tuesday’s presentation, “What the Humanities Offer Science: Toward a ‘Second Wave’ of Consilience,” will focus on the integration of the humanities into the sciences.

Slingerland is co-founder and co-director of UBC’s Centre for the Study of Human Evolution, Cognition and Culture (HECC). His research specialties and teaching interests include Warring States (5th-3rd c. B.C.E.) Chinese thought, religious studies (comparative religion, cognitive science and evolution of religion), cognitive linguistics (blending and conceptual metaphor theory), ethics (virtue ethics, moral psychology), evolutionary psychology, the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences, and the classical Chinese language.

His first book, “Effortless Action: Wu-wei as Conceptual Metaphor and Spiritual Ideal in Early China,” won the American Academy of Religion’s award for the Best First Book in the History of Religions, and his translation of the “Analects” of Confucius has received wide acclaim. The Linfield presentations will be based on his most recent monograph, “What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body & Culture,” in which he argues for the relevance of the natural sciences to the humanities and presents an outline for a new, embodied approach to the study of culture. The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, call or email Kaarina Beam at 503-883-2216 or kbeam@linfield.edu.