The Two Greatest Ideas
Prof. Linda Zagzebski (University of Oklahoma)

October 10, 2017, 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven

Kardinaal Mercierzaal
Kardinaal Mercierplein 2
Leuven
Belgium

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There have been ideas in human history that are so simple that it is easy to overlook their tremendous power, and it is easy to forget that human beings have not always had them. In this talk I tell a short story about the origin of the two ideas and how their relationship eventually changed, leading to a battle for dominance between them that has not yet been resolved. The ideas are (1) the idea that the human mind can grasp the universe, and (2) the idea that the human mind can grasp itself. The ways we think of the world, ourselves, religion, science, ethics, political theory, and even art and literature are dramatically affected by the dominance of one of these ideas over the other.

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