May 11, VN Alexander on Nabokov at Library in Rosendale, NY

rosendale WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 7 PM FREE

“Vladimir Nabokov and Insect Mimicry: The Artist as Scientist”

Victoria N Alexander

Public Scholars, NY Council for the Humanities: In collaboration with the NY Council for the Humanities, the Rosendale Public Library presents a slide/lecture on the controversial novelist and lepidopterist, Vladimir Nabokov, that reveals his insights into the mysteries of mimicry and how the scientific community responded to his studies. Fantastic images of insect mimicry will be used as examples of how important art is to good science. This event is made possible through the Public Scholars program with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

rosendalelibrary

 

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3 thoughts on “May 11, VN Alexander on Nabokov at Library in Rosendale, NY

  1. Shaun Johnston

    Victoria, at your talk last night in Rosendale I gave you a copy of my book. You gave me a card to contact you through but I found this form on your website instead. Please give me a quick “Got it” reply so I know this form works.

    I want to ask you if you’d agree to an interview I could publish on my evolutionforthehumanities.com website. But the site is down! Of course you’ll want to see the site first. I’m sending this meanwhile to establish contact.

    I look forward to being in touch. And you don’t have to read the book first, or ever. That was just my calling card.

    Cheers, Shaun Johnston

    Reply
  2. Shaun Johnston

    Victoria, we are due to meet tomorrow afternoon. Curiously, the current issue of Atlantic has an article on free will. It has occurred to me we might promote together. How about a letter to the Atlantic, like this:

    ———————————
    Waning belief in free will is bound to follow from a waning of belief in mind. If, as Stephen Cave reported, good reasons can be found for maintaining belief in free will, perhaps good reasons can be found for maintaining belief in mind, too. Here’s one: common sense tells us we can consciously direct what we do and say from within consciousness in ways physics can’t account for, through reason for example. Common sense also tells us evolution defies physics by being truly creative. Belief in material monism might survive direct conflict with one primary common sense intuition, but by conflicting with two it risks defying common sense altogether.

    Belief in mind eroded as the methods of modern science failed to register it. Perhaps the problem lies not with mind but with those methods. Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of a future science in two contemporary advocacies of dualism that draw on ancient Roman philosophies. In my contribution, that you can sample at academia.edu/24928549, I draw on ancient Stoic physics. In her book “The Biologists Mistress” Victoria Alexander explores varieties of teleology including ancient Epicurean atomism.

    How could conscious and volitional creatures like us have evolved except in a world where mind and matter can interact? We may not fully understand ourselves until we adopt a science able to make sense of such a question.
    ———————————–

    More addressing my work than yours, I know, but together I think we make a more temping topic, no?

    I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. You can let me know what you think of this.

    Cheers, Shaun

    Reply
  3. VN Alexander Post author

    Thank Shaun. Looking forward to our interview tomorrow, in the meantime, I’ll look over the article. Glancing through it just now, I see the main idea is: “When people stop believing they are free agents, they stop seeing themselves as blameworthy for their actions.” This, as you noticed, is merely an opinion. How do we know how people see themselves? And the counter-argument is at least as valid. “When people start believing in material determinism (or divine predetermination, for that matter) they see people as blameworthy for their actions, due to their inescapable natures.”
    I like your question:
    “How could conscious and volitional creatures like us have evolved except in a world where mind and matter can interact? We may not fully understand ourselves until we adopt a science able to make sense of such a question.”
    I think that’s the problem. Too few people have posed the question properly. It’s no wonder none of the answers make sense.

    Reply

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