On March 14 & 15, 2016, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study hosted "Mind, Soul, World: Consciousness in Nature," a conference led by Dr. David Bentley Hart, 2015-2016 Templeton Fellow at the NDIAS.
In this conference, Professor David Hart, in dialogue with a multitude of eminent scholars, explored the mystery of consciousness (the entirety of mental life), posed critical questions such as the place of nature within mind, and probed more traditional assumptions about the physicalist emergentist accounts of the origins of consciousness. Those attending also examined the idea that careful reflection on the nature of consciousness yields an understanding of consciousness to which certain classical understandings of the soul (Western and Eastern) may prove far better suited than more materialist reductionist approaches.
This conference brought together scholars from anthropology, history, philosophy, and theology to examine critical topics about consciousness including whether consciousness can evolve or emerge from matter, intentionality and the transcendental ends of consciousness, classical metaphysics of the soul, Eastern contributions to the understanding of consciousness, and the soul and the whole of being.
This programming was made possible with generous funding from the John Templeton Foundation.