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The Scarlet & Black

Grinnell to host ‘Kant Miss’ philosophy conference

On Saturday, Nov. 13, the 69th Annual Conference of Iowa Philosophical Society will be held at Grinnell College. The conference will feature over 30 presentations from speakers the University of Iowa, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, among others.

Jonathan Lear presents his Convocation speech regarding irony in relation to psychoanalysis on Thursday morning - Radka Slamova

“For this conference, we get papers from professional philosophers, independent scholars, and we also get graduate student papers,“ said Professor Tammy Nyden, Philosophy.

As presentations become more common in the field, speakers are using PowerPoint—particularly the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.

Presenters in the science fields will talk through their work while those in the humanities will read their papers. There will be time afterwards for audience to ask questions.

“I’m excited because it’s at Grinnell and our students will get to go and participate in it. Because it’s here, I think a lot of students will hopefully drop in at least a few sessions. We have a great speaker coming, Jonathan Lear, and he’s going to be a plenary speaker, it’s good for students, conference goers to learn more about the topic.” Nyden said.

University of Chicago Professor Jonathan Lear, who was this week’s Scholars’ Convocation speaker, will be presenting a paper entitled “Irony, Reflection and Psychic Unity” between 12:20 p.m. and 1:50 p.m. Lear was educated at Yale, Cambridge, Rockefeller University and the Western New England Institute for Psychoanalysis. Much of his work involves the intersection of psychoanalysis and philosophy.

In addition to work involving Freud, he has also written eight books, with titles ranging from “Radical hope: ethics in the face of cultural devastation” to “Love and its place in nature.” He has won the Gradiva Award from the National Association for Psychoanalysis three times for work that advances psychoanalysis.

Jo Megas ’13 looks forward to Lear’s presentation.

“He should provide really interesting information because it’s highly relevant to contemporary issues,” Megas said. “It’s really exciting to see that the tangible results of what happens to be studying philosophy further in life…it will be helpful to understand what people will be doing in graduate school, what kind of things that I like to study.”

Nyden emphasized that it is a great opportunity to hear local philosophers and to start thinking for graduate school. There will be many graduate students—particularly from the University of Iowa— that will be presenting papers and speaking about their work.

“I think the biggest thing for students here is to see people doing work outside our department.” Nyden said.

As a philosophy major who is about to graduate, Daniel Miles ’11 sees this appeal.

“It seems like a really cool opportunity for us to have because being able to hear actual discourse in formal conference. I’m sure it’s an extraordinarily useful experience, it’s interesting; it gives you a sense of what actually goes on,” Miles said.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The registration fee is five dollars for students and 20 for everyone else. The sessions are 50 minutes and will be located in JRC 209, 225, 226 and 227.

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