vendredi 21 septembre 2018

Les trois âmes

The Three Souls in the History of Medecine and Natural Philosophy


5-6 October 2018

Reid Hall, Grande Salle
4 rue de Chevreuse 75006

The concept of soul seems to have outlived its use long ago. Yet, our increasing capacity to transform our bodies, and interfere in the very processes of birth and death, is accompanied by urgent questions about the nature of identity, the individual, consciousness, and the living organism. Debates in bioethics address these issues, but their public understanding is confused. Meanwhile, confusions abound regarding what the boundaries might be between the animate and the inanimate, the animal and the human, the organic and the mechanical.

We believe that a historical perspective will help understand where medicine, the sciences of mind and the life sciences stand at present with regard to these notions. It is high time to reassess the various uses of the historical idea of soul, ever since its conception by Plato as a unique spiritual substance and its division by Aristotle into three hierarchical parts. This tripartite soul survived in some form or other for over two thousand years, as an explanatory structure for everything from animal generation to higher consciousness. In the light of today’s debates regarding the relation between mind and brain and concomitant bioethical dilemmas, this persistent model requires in-depth examination.

Our conference will offer an opportunity for a dialogue between scientists, clinicians, and philosophers on the one hand, and historians of science and ideas on the other. The programme will create an unusual combination of a diachronic, historical approach with a synchronic, philosophical one.

Friday 5 October

1:30-1:45 Arrival, coffee

1:45-2:00 Welcome and presentation by Noga Arikha and Justin E. H. Smith


2:00-2:30 Laura Bossi: A Brief History of a Pervasive Idea

2:30-2:45 Discussion

Session 1

2:45-3:15 Sophia Connell: The Three Souls in Aristotle’s Biology

3:15-3:45 Karl-Léo Schwering: Animism and the Work of Identification in Medicine: The Case of Organ Transplantation

3:45-4:00 Discussion

4:00-4:15 Coffee break

Session 2

4:15-4:45 Guido Giglioni: Galen on Selfhood in the Renaissance

4:45-5:15 Philippe Huneman: The Three Souls, the Two Lives, and the Functions: Some Remarks on Natural History, Experimental Physiology, and Kantianism

5:15-5:30 Discussion

5:30-6:00 General discussion

6:00-7:30 Cocktails

Saturday 6 October

8:45-9:00 Coffee

Session 3

9:00-9:30 Justin E.H. Smith: The Fourth Soul: Aristotle on Air as Ambient psukhē

9:30-10:00 George Makari: Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind

10:00-10:15 Discussion

Session 4

10:15-10:45 Laurent Cohen: The Fragmented Soul

10:45-11:15 Noga Arikha: Psyche, Soma, and the Self

11:15-11:30 Discussion

11:30-11:45 Coffee break

11:45-12:15 General discussion

Session 5

2:00-2:30 Kathryn Tabb: Madness in the Sensitive Soul

2:30-3:00 Didier Sicard: The Body’s Soul

3:00-3:15 Discussion

Session 6

3:15-3:45 Charles T. Wolfe: Trajectories in the Naturalisation of the Soul: Mind and Life

3:45-4:15 Marta Spranzi: Disorders of Consciousness, Neuroimaging and the Illusion of Objective Ethical Standards

4:15-4:30 Discussion

4:30-4:45 Coffee break

4:45-5:15 Manos Tsakiris: Heartfelt Self: Going Beyond Cardiocentrism and Encephalocentrism

5:15-5:45 General discussion



6:00-6:45 Siri Hustvedt: Never Mind, or: Plato, Placebo, Placenta

6:45-7:00 Discussion

7:00 Cocktails


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