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Philosophical Society

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The next gathering of the Camden Philosophical Society on Tuesday, Jun. 19, will be on the work of Italian theoretical physicist and philosopher Carlo Rovelli, who also writes like a poet in his book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (2016). The discussion will be led by Skye Hirst and will take place from 4:00 – 6:00 pm in the Picker Room of the Camden Public Library. All are welcome.

Through his scientist’s eyes, Rovelli asks what role we as human beings who perceive, make decisions, laugh and cry have in this great fresco of the world as depicted by contemporary physics. As part of this exploration, in his final chapter on “Ourselves,” he asks what is the “self,” the “I” who makes these decisions and how they are made.

If the world is a swarm of ephemeral quanta of space and matter, then what are we? Do we also consist only of quanta and particles? If so, then from where do we get the sense of individual existence and unique selfhood to which we can all testify? And what, then, are our values, our dreams, our emotions, our individual knowledge? What are we, in this boundless and glowing world?

Hirst invites participants to explore the way Rovelli provides a bridge between science and philosophy, and the art of viewing ourselves as complex and unpredictable, but nevertheless, the next frontier to more fully understand. Hopefully, this discussion will deepen further thoughts on ethics and values in this ever-changing yet constant reality we live in.

The primary focus of the discussion will be the first two chapters of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and the last one on “Ourselves,”.  Also, participants may wish to read this Rovelli article discussing the value of philosophy to science http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/14678/1/Rovelli-LSE-Final.pdf and/or listen to this podcast of an interview with Rovelli on Krista Tibbet’s On Being https://onbeing.org/programs/carlo-rovelli-all-reality-is-interaction-apr2018/ .

For copies of the readings, please email Sarah Miller at sarahmiller@usa.net. 


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Camden Public Library
55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States