Why You Are Not Your Brain.
Philosopher & Physician Raymond Tallis in conversation with Saad Ismail on the intellectual diseases of 'Neuromania' and 'Darwinitis', on the insufficiency of naturalism in explaining consciousness, on humanism & anti-humanists, on God & transcendence, on the soul & afterlife, and on straddling multiple intellectual identities.
Professor Raymond Tallis is a philosopher, poet, novelist, and cultural critic and was until recently a physician and a clinical scientist.
Raymond Tallis trained in medicine at Oxford University and at St Thomas’ Hospital London before becoming Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences for his research in clinical neuroscience and he has played a key role in developing guidelines for the care of stroke patients in the UK. From 2011–14 he was Chair of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying.
He retired from medicine in 2006 to become a full-time writer. His books have ranged across many subjects – from philosophical anthropology to literary and cultural criticism – but all are characterised by a fascination for the infinite complexity of human lives and the human condition. The Economist’s Intelligent Life magazine lists him as one of the world’s leading polymaths.
Medical Nihilism: The view that we should have little confidence in the effectiveness of medical interventions.
Philosopher of Medicine Jacob Stengenga and Saad Ismail (MBBS) discuss the varieties of skepticisms towards modern medicine, the place of alternative and indigenous medical traditions in postcolonial times, bias in medical research, the controversial nature of many psychiatric therapies, how aggressive pharmaceutical interventions might be doing more harm than good, and what a gentler medicine might look like.
Jacob Stegenga is a Reader in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He has published widely on fundamental topics in reasoning and rationality and philosophical problems in medicine and biology. He previously taught in the United States and Canada, and he received his PhD from the University of California San Diego. He is the author of 'Medical Nihilism' and 'Care and Cure: An Introduction to Philosophy of Medicine', and he is currently writing a book on the sciences of sexual desire.
What's Wrong with World Literature?
A Conversation between Literary Scholar Ian Almond (Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Qatar) and Hasan Azad, PhD.
How do we decenter world literature?
What are the western lenses through which world literature is produced, disseminated, and consumed?
Ian Almond is Professor of World Literature at Georgetown University. He is the author of five books, most recently Two Faiths, One Banner (Harvard University Press, 2009) and The Thought of Nirad C. Chaudhuri (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and over forty articles in a variety of journals including PMLA, Radical Philosophy, ELH, New Literary History and the Harvard Theological Review. He specializes in comparative world literature, with a tri-continental emphasis on Mexico, Bengal and Turkey. His work has been translated into thirteen languages (Albanian, Arabic, German, Korean, Indonesian, Bengali, Bosnian/Serbo-Croat, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, and Turkish). The Arabic translation of his book Sufism and Deconstruction was shortlisted (one of 7) for the largest literary prize in existence, the Sheikh Zayed Book Prize. The Korean translation of his book Two Faiths One Banner won the Book of the Month award.
What would an anthropology of uncertainty look like?
Do we need a 'philosophy' of failure (now, perhaps more than ever) in contrast to the triumphalist philosophies the world over?
The brilliant anthropologist Naveeda Khan (Johns Hopkins University) and Hasan Azad, PhD, discuss.
Naveeda Khan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Her doctoral and postdoctoral project was on Islam, state and the everyday in Pakistan. She is the editor of Beyond Crisis: Re-Evaluating Pakistan (2010). She is the author of Muslim Becoming: Aspiration and Skepticism in Pakistan (2012), which won the American Institute of Pakistan Studies Book Prize (2013). Her research and writing on Pakistan was funded by the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Hayes, Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Columbia University Lindt Fellowship, United States Institute of Peace and the American Philosophical Society. Her work on this topic has been published in Social Text, Cultural Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History among other journals and books.
Khan is completing a second project on river life and climate change in Bangladesh across the scales of the self/unconscious, the domestic, the national and the global. This project will culminate in three manuscripts collectively titled As Is/As If: Conundrums of Living with Climate Change. The manuscripts are individually titled, Climate Governance at the End of the World, River Life and a Philosophy of Nature and Householding on a Warming Earth. The research and writing for this project was funded by the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the American Philosophical Society. Funding for new training in support of this work, specifically, introduction to climate science and policy, hydrology, geo-fluvial morphology, ecology, GIS and network analysis and German nature philosophy was provided by the Andrew Mellon New Directions Fellowship and the Johns Hopkins University Catalyst Grant. Her work has been published in Environment and Planning D, Anthropologica, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Theory and Event, Hau, The Yale Yearbook in Comparative Literature among other journals and books.
How can physics account for consciousness?
World renowned theoretical physicist Stephon Alexander and Hasan Azad, PhD, have a wide-ranging discussion on this most intractable of problems, as far as our material sciences are concerned.
Physicist and musician Stephon Alexander has straddled the worlds of theoretical physics and jazz music over the last two decades. He works on the connection between the smallest and largest entities in the universe pushing Einstein’s theory of curved space-time to extremes, beyond the big bang with sub atomic phenomena.
Alexander is a Professor of Physics at Brown University, with previous appointments at Stanford University, Imperial College, Penn State, Dartmouth College and Haverford College. Alexander is a specialist in the field of string cosmology, where the physics of superstrings are applied to address longstanding questions in cosmology.
In 2001, he co-invented the model of inflation based on higher dimensional hypersurfaces in string theory called D-Branes. In such models the early universe emerged from the destruction of a higher dimensional D-brane which ignites a period of rapid expansion of space often referred to as cosmic inflation.
In his best selling book, The Jazz of Physics, Alexander revisits the ancient interconnection between music and the evolution of astrophysics and the laws of motion. He explores new ways music, in particular jazz music, mirrors modern physics, such as quantum mechanics, general relativity, and the physics of the early universe. He also discusses ways that innovations in physics have been and can be inspired from “improvisational logic” exemplified in Jazz performance and practice. Alexander also recently served as a scientific advisor for the Walt Disney film A Wrinkle In Time, directed by Ava DuVernay, and currently serves as President of the National Society of Black Physicists (NSPB).
A Conversation between Prof. Edward Moad and Hasan Azad, PhD
Dr. Edward Moad is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Qatar University.
In this video we discuss the parameters through which one must think - at all times - whether consciously or unconsciously, and how those parameters decide what is considered 'correct' knowledge, and what is considered 'incorrect' knowledge, not least in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lewis Gordon (born May 12, 1962) is an American philosopher at the University of Connecticut who works in the areas of Africana philosophy, existentialism, phenomenology, social and political theory, postcolonial thought, theories of race and racism, philosophies of liberation, aesthetics, philosophy of education, and philosophy of religion. He has written particularly extensively on Africana and black existentialism, postcolonial phenomenology, race and racism, and on the works and thought of W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon. His most recent book is titled: What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction To His Life And Thought.
A wide-ranging conversation on the pandemic of anti-black racism, with Rev. DeForest L. Raphael, a prophetic, powerful human being who speaks both in the traditions of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Especially moving is Rev. DeForest's deep theology of compassion, while not pulling any punches as far as critique, and calling evil - evil
"Stillness in Crisis" - Rev. DeForest L. Raphael, Pastor, A. M. E. Zion Church on the Hill, New York
A wide-ranging conversation with Rev. DeForest L. Raphael, a prophetic, powerful human being who speaks both in the traditions of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.