WHAT: The Dean’s Lecture Series
WHERE: Junior Common Room, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College
WHEN: Wednesday, April 16, at 3 p.m.
TITLE: “The Privilege of Reason II: Identity and Eternity”
WHO: James Carey, St. John’s College
DETAILS: This event is free of charge and open to the public.
CONTACT: St. John’s College Switchboard, 984-6000
This lecture will consider the question of how the human mind is originally related to truth, in particular, whether it originally discovers the truths it comes to know, or originally constitutes them. Divergent answers given to this question in the history of philosophy will be briefly summarized. Attention will be given not only to the status of necessary, so-called “eternal truths,” such as those of logic and mathematics, but to the status of contingent truths as well. Special attention will be given to the question of how one and the same truth can be preserved in its self-identity across time, thereby transcending multiple, temporally discrete acts of thinking of it by a single individual and even by a multiplicity of individuals.
This lecture will revisit and develop certain themes treated in a 2006 lecture entitled “The Privilege of Reason I: Evolution and History,” but it will not presuppose familiarity with that lecture. For those who might be interested, however, copies of an expanded version of the earlier lecture will be held on reserve in the library and can be purchased in the bookstore.