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Who Am I?


for Members

Who Am I?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences


Can we ever really answer the long-standing philosophical question, "Who am I?" Philosophers, ethicists, and psychologists have all spoken to the difficulty of achieving genuine self-knowledge and the uncertainties of our judgment in evaluating oneself.

The final seminar in the series will bring together philosophers Elie During and David Jopling, social psychologist Timothy Wilson, and ethicist Frances Kamm to examine the difficulty with achieving genuine self-knowledge, with an emphasis on the ways that the pursuit of self-knowledge itself plays a role in shaping the Self.

View Archived Webcast


Alex Voorhoeve, PhD, London School of Economics


Elie During, PhD, University of Paris - Ouest Nanterre, France

David A. Jopling, DPhil, York University, Canada

Frances Kamm, PhD, Harvard University

Timothy Wilson, PhD, University of Virginia

Reception to follow.

This event is part of a 6-part series, Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness, bringing together experts from science and the humanities for an interdisciplinary discussion of the evolving notion and experience of the Self.

To Be or Not To Be: The Self as Illusion, December 7, 2010
Quid Pro Quo: The Ecology of The Self, February 23, 2011
The Pursuit of Immortality: From the Ego to the Soul, March 23, 2011
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Linking Belief to Behavior, April 28, 2011
Me, Myself, and I: The Rise of the Modern Self, May 12, 2011
Who Am I?: Beyond 'I Think, Therefore I Am', May 24, 2011

Each event in the series will also be broadcast as a webinar.

Please note:
Transmission of presentations via the webinar is subject to individual consent by the speakers. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that every speaker's presentation will be broadcast in full via the webinar. To access all speakers' presentations in full, we invite you to attend the live event in New York City where possible.

Presented by


Elie During, PhD

University of Paris - Ouest Nanterre, France

Elie During (b. 1972) is Associate Professor at University of Paris - Ouest Nanterre, France, Philosophy Department. He has edited two volumes on the soul and metaphysics (L'Âme, 1997; La Métaphysique, 1998). His current research focuses on the psychological and metaphysical implications of the spacetime concept, with special interest in related issues such as consciousness and the mind-body problem. He contributed to the critical edition of Henri Bergson's complete works, specifically to Durée et Simultanéité [Duration and Simultaneity] and L'Énergie spirituelle [Mind-Energy] (2009). His most recent publications include Faux Raccords (2010), an essay on the aesthetics of spacetime experience, and La Querelle du temps: Bergson et Einstein (2011), a study of the interactions of relativity physics and the metaphysics of time.

David A. Jopling, DPhil

York University, Canada

David A. Jopling is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of Talking Cures and Placebo Effects (2008) and Self-Knowledge and the Self (2000) and co-editor with Ulric Neisser of The Conceptual Self in Context: Culture, Experience, Self-Understanding (1997). He has also published papers on cognitive science, phenomenology, self-deception, and the concept of self. His current research is on the placebo effect in medicine and psychiatry, with a particular focus on the ontogenetic and phylogenetic origins of the placebo effect. He also has a research project underway on the metaphysics and ethics of the seventeenth-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

Frances Kamm, PhD

Harvard University

Frances M. Kamm is Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy. She is the author of Creation and Abortion; Morality, Mortality, Vol. 1: Death and Whom to Save From It; Morality, Mortality, Vol. 2: Rights, Duties, and Status; and Intricate Ethics. Kamm also has published many articles on normative ethical theory and practical ethics. She has held ACLS, AAUW, NEH, and Guggenheim fellowships and has been a Fellow of the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School, the Center for Human Values at Princeton, and the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford. She is a member of the editorial boards of Philosophy & Public Affairs, Legal Theory, Bioethics, and Utilitas and was a consultant on ethics to the World Health Organization. She is a member of the steering committee of the University Program in Ethics and Health.

Alex Voorhoeve, PhD

London School of Economics

Alex Voorhoeve is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics. In political philosophy, he writes on ideals of equality and responsibility. In moral philosophy, he works on 'the economy of the soul': how we actually make moral decisions when we must weigh potential benefits to some against potential benefits to others, and how rational choice theory tells us we should make such decisions. He also writes on moral philosophy for a general audience. His book Conversations on Ethics (2009) contains discussions with eleven leading philosophers and scientists on the major ethical questions.

Timothy Wilson, PhD

University of Virginia

Timothy D. Wilson is the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He has conducted extensive research on self-knowledge-its limits, how people attain it, and its value. Wilson has investigated the consequences of introspecting about oneself, formulated a model of dual attitudes (wherein people simultaneously hold implicit and explicit attitudes toward the same thing), and documented the pervasiveness of "mental contamination" or unwanted influences on people's judgments, feelings, and behaviors. Most recently, Wilson (with Daniel Gilbert) has investigated affective forecasting, or how well people can predict their reactions to future emotional events. In 2002 Wilson published Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, which Malcolm Gladwell described as "probably the most influential book I've ever read" and the New York Times Magazine listed as one of the best 100 ideas of 2002. Wilson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. 


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