Hilary Putnam

The Depths and Shallows of Experience
Thursday May 9 2002, 7:00- 9:00PM, Corwin Pavilion, University Center

Discussant: Hubert Schwyzer, Philosophy
Discussant: Bruno Latour


This lecture will approach the broad themes to which this series is devoted, the themes implicit in speaking of "Science, Religion and Human Experience" by interrogating the notion of experience itself. Both in life and in philosophical reflection, experience is sometimes seen as intrinsically shallow, as mere surface, and sometimes as deep. This "facedness" of experience has deep significance for each of these three themes; but this significance is often misconceived (as when science is thought of as dealing only with the shallows, as by, for instance, Heidegger, and religion as dealing only with the depths). This lecture will explore ways of conceiving the relations between our themes that avoid these familiar stereotypes.

Hilary Putnam is Cogan University Professor (Emeritus) at Harvard University, where he taught for 35 years. Before joining the faculty of Harvard, he was Professor of the Philosophy of Science at M.I.T. He has also taught at Northwestern University and Princeton University. He is a past President of the American Philosophical Association (Eastern Division), the Philosophy of Science Association, and the Association for Symbolic Logic. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and holds a number of honorary degrees, including degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Athens, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Putnam has written extensively on issues in many areas of philosophy - metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, the theory of value, and American Pragmatism. In recent years Putnam has also written on Jewish philosophy and philosophy of religion, including articles on the Negative Theology of Maimonides, an introduction to a volume by Rosenzweig and an essay on the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas.


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Hilary Putnam delivered his lecture on Thursday evening in the Corwin Pavilion. His address was followed by comments from two respondents, a question-and-answer session, and a general reception. Below are some pictures from his visit.

Jim Proctor, Director of UCSB Templeton Lectures Series, welcomes the crowd, and then introduces Hilary Putnam.
A large crowd assembled to hear the lecture.
Putnam gestures to the audience during his lecture on experience.
Hubert Schwyzer (UCSB Department of Philosophy) responds to the lecture.
Bruno Latour responds to the lecture.
Putnam responds to a question from the audience, while the other discussants look on.
Hilary and Jim continue their discussion in Los Padres National Forest in the beautiful Santa Barbara backcountry.
Hilary demonstrates his owl-taming ability.



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