October 07, 2006, 3:30 PM
Participants: Akeel Bilgrami (moderator), Annaik Feve, Rebecca Goldstein, Siri Hustvedt, Jaak Panksepp, Joel Whitebook
The question of free will has been debated by philosophers, psychologists and religious thinkers from the beginning of recorded history. Any system of thought that seeks to deal with man's place in nature must inevitably consider this question. The roundtable examines free will from the points of view of philosophy, psychoanalysis and neuroscience. In particular, findings from psychoanalysis, such as the death instinct and trans-generational transmission, as well as discoveries in neuroscience about implicit memory, are employed to provide a new perspective from which to relate free will to current discussions of human behavior.
Akeel Bilgrami is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University and the author of Belief and Meaning, Self-Knowledge and Resentment, and Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity.
Annaik Feve is a neurologist, psychoanalyst, and member of the Psychoanalytic Society of Paris. She lectures and publishes regularly in the fields of neuroscience and psychoanalysis, focussing on movement disorders, dreams, and psychoanalytic education. She organizes monthly meetings of the Philoctetes Center in Paris.
Rebecca Goldstein, a novelist and philosopher, is the author of eight books, the last of which was Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. The recipient of numerous prizes for her fiction and scholarship, including a MacArthur Fellowship, she is currently a fellow of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.
Siri Hustvedt is the author of The Blindfold and The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, as well as numerous essays and short stories. Her last novel, What I Loved, was nominated for the Prix Etranger Femina.
Jaak Panksepp is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Bowling Green State University and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo. He is the author of Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions, Textbook of Biological Psychiatry and Advances in Biological Psychiatry.
Joel Whitebook is a philosopher and practicing psychoanalyst. He is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and is writing an intellectual biography of Freud for Cambridge University Press.
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