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Blog Posts by Subject: Modern Western Philosophy

Meet the Scholar: Melissa Forstrom

Melissa ForstromMuseums. They are great. From Museum of Mathematics to Museum of Glass, there's so much to see and to learn about these topics in our shared history. Whenever I visit a new town or country, I am always eager to check out their local or national museums; they offer a glimpse of their cultural histories, identities and accomplishments.

However, some exhibitions can also showcase contested and controversial materials. Take for example the

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The Tree of Life & the Poem of Being

The Tree of Life opens May 27th in theaters; of course, having not yet seen the film there is little I can say about it (the studio released only a few plot details), but a discussion of his previous films may inform a deeper viewing more than simply assuming a passive stance. All too often, we are encouraged to receive films or books this way, in some vague popular idea that our minds are storage receptacles and that we simply experience a movie more or less in the fashion the filmmakers intended. I would like to counter this idea and 

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The Question of Science Fiction: Utopias

"All profound life is heavy with the impossible."                                                   —Georges Bataille

If you're anything like me, you'll be walking down the street thinking about science fiction and think to yourself, "Say, what is the 

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What is the Post-Secular?

Jurgen Habermas famously addressed the controversial subject of post-secularity  in his "Notes on a Post-Secular Society." Therein, Habermas concludes to think and understand the post-secular concludes with a Kantian limit, "So, if all is to go well both sides, each from its own viewpoint, must accept an interpretation of the relation between faith and knowledge that enables them to live 

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Consciousness Studies @ NYPL!

Consciousness studies is at the forefront of science's last great investigative projects. While neglected for many years by mainstream academia as a result of dominance by behaviorist psychology, interest in the science of consciousness has exploded in the last decade, with new activity in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, philosophy, and other areas.

How exactly does a material brain... give rise to immaterial thoughts, or "consciousness"?

While many in the humanities still hold to the idea of philosophy being the paramount scholarly effort 

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Lacan @ the Library!

Many don’t know it, but New York Public Library has a substantial collection of books by influential French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, as well as his multitudinous acolytes. 

Lacan gave yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, and was a major presence among French intellectuals for the remainder of the twentieth century. Lacan greatly influenced the 

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