SunDAY, 25TH OF DECEMBER 2011, 8 PM GMT
Title: How to think like God.
Tweeter: Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, UK. Originally trained in history and philosophy of science, he is best known for his work in the field of ‘social epistemology’, which is concerned with the normative foundations of organized inquiry. It is also the name of a quarterly journal he founded in 1987 and the first of his eighteen books. His most recent books are The Sociology of Intellectual Life: The Career of the Mind in and around the Academy (Sage, 2009), Science: The Art of Living (Acumen and McGill-Queens University Press, 2010) and Humanity 2.0: What It Means to Be Human Past, Present and Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). He is currently completing a history of epistemology to be published by Acumen in 2013.
Abstract: “Without denying that many – though exactly how many is far from clear – people not only don’t believe in God but also appear to object to the very idea, it might be a good idea to get a sense of what it would mean to think like God. At the very least, this would give both believers and non-believers a clear sense of what they’re talking about. One might think that ‘theologians’, whose name literally means ‘scientists of God’, would offer some straight talk on the subject. And while some theologians do, many if not most are compromised by having to speak within one or another church stricture.
In any case, what better time to discuss this matter than the Christmas season! After all, the sort of God whose mind is worth fathoming is the one that led a motley crew of dissenting European Christians in the 17th century to initiate the Scientific Revolution. It’s this version God, which I believe remains very relevant, that I wish to discuss in my lecture. Even today, it’s pretty difficult to rationalize science – especially if we look at both the positive and the negative sides of its score sheet – unless we imagine ourselves as over time, albeit in fits and starts, getting closer to the mind of this hypothesized God, in whose ‘image and likeness’ the Abrahamic religions maintain that we have been created.
Of course, some believe that science was a big mistake to begin with, or that we’re likely to be doomed if don’t curtail science’s development. But that’s not my starting point.”
To attend: Follow the hashtag and the @SvTwuni account on twitter (in seperate windows).
The books mentioned above are good entry points, but there are also interviews that touch on the issues I plan to raise: