The Nour Foundation
Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University
Georgetown University Symposium Series

Nour Foundation Oxford University Georgetown University Nour Foundation Blackfriars Hall Oxford University Georgetown University

Technology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Being:
Considerations of Meaning, Morality & Transcendence

The aim of this three-part symposium series is to provide a forum for the launch of high-level interdisciplinary discussions intended to address and overcome the increasing isolation and fragmentation of the disciplines devoted to the science and advancement of the human person. The conferences, which will take place at Georgetown, Oxford University, and the United Nations in New York, will seek to incorporate recent advances in neuroscience into a more comprehensive paradigm that is consistent with what is known of the human condition from a philosophical, psychological, and theological perspective. In so doing, they will also examine the phenomenological and spiritual dimensions of human experience that have often been absent from or subordinated within contemporary technologically-oriented approaches to models of the human person and the psychology of the self. The discussions will therefore strive to reconcile the neuroscientific perspectives of the human person with the naturalistic values of ethical and moral action by examining the possibilities for establishing a system of common morality as a grounding human ecology that will enable multidisciplinary investigations into the full spectrum of human experience.

Perhaps more importantly, the long-term goal of this three-part multidisciplinary symposium series is for the ensuing discussions and publications to serve as a pediment for the development and implementation of a consilient curriculum of graduate-level education that meaningfully bridges the scientific disciplines with the classical humanities, integrating them for the first time within the university setting so as to conjoin faculty and students from programs ranging from neurogenetics, physics, and psychology to philosophy, law, and anthropology. Using these scholarly publications and books as core texts, the curriculum will foster and encourage the development of graduate theses and collaborative publication projects among faculty, students, and scholars at both national and international institutions of higher learning. The anticipated graduate program will feature a two-year course of interdisciplinary study to equip students with a thorough understanding of the links and tensions between these contrasting disciplines. The program will be developed with five to six students per year at Georgetown University, with a semester abroad at Oxford’s historic Centre for Philosophical Psychology.