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Finding the Way to Truth: Conference on the Sources, History, and Impact of the Meditative Tradition

February 01, 2019 to February 02, 2019
8:45am - 7:15pm


Maison Française

Event Type: 

How is the ancient exhortation to “know thyself ” related to consolation, virtue, and the study of nature? How did the commitment to self-knowledge shift over the centuries in writings by Islamic, Jewish, Christian, and early modern natural philosophers? How did medieval women contribute to modern notions of self, self-knowledge, and knowledge of nature?

This conference explores the meditative “reflective methodology” from its ancient roots, through medieval Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions to the so-called “new” methodologies of early modern science. Points of focus will be: (1) the relation between the ancient imperative to “know thyself ” and medieval concerns to reflect on one's soul as a means to ultimate truths, (2) the meditative genre as it developed from Augustine’s Confessions through Christian and Islamic spiritual exercises to late medieval Christian meditations and early modern kabbalist writings, (3) the continuity between medieval meditations and the reflective methodology of early modern science, and (4) the meditative genre’s afterlife in Freud, Foucault, Arendt, and contemporary science.

Please RSVP here.

Sponsored by: Center for New Narratives in Philosophy, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the Departments of Philosophy, English and Comparative Literature, French, and Maison Française at Columbia University

Find out more about this conference on the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy website.


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