Skip to main content

The E. Maynard Adams Seminar

April 2, 2016

How do we know what we know? What is truth? These questions have long been at the heart of philosophical inquiry. Older traditions suggest that only through rational inquiry can humans come to understand essential truths. Some recent trends in neuroscience, psychiatry, and even philosophy, however, have emphasized the irrational nature of thought and the biological, mechanistic processes of the human mind. Both schools of thought question the role of disembodied feelings and emotions in discovering truth—either emphasizing their irrationality or their emanation from biological conditions. This seminar will explore the value of emotions and empathy as pathways to truth by reviewing the latest philosophical ideas on the matter and recent trends in the neuroscientific study of positivity and learning. It will also include insights from the arts and literature—suggesting that these questions, central to the human condition, may also be answered through the creative process.

Topics & Speakers

The Epistemic Value of Emotion
Jeff Sebo, Research Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Associate Director, Parr Center for Ethics

Moving Images: The Complex Relationships Between Cinema, Emotions, and Notions of Truth
Rachel J. Schaevitz, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Public Humanities

“Truth’s superb surprise” in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry
Eliza Richards, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Positive Emotions as Learning Opportunities: A Psychological Approach
Patty Van Cappellen, Research Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and Director, Morality, Health, and Spirituality Lab

Can We Feel the Truth?
A panel discussion with our speakers

Time & Cost

9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2016. The tuition is $140 ($125 by February 2). Tuition for teachers is $70.00 ($62.50 by February 2). Teachers can also receive a $75 stipend after attending (click here for more information) and 10 contact hours for 1 unit of renewal credit. The lunch is included. This seminar will be held in the Research Triangle Park (approximately 12 miles from the UNC campus).

For information about lodging click here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Register for this seminar.

Leave a Reply