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BAHAR Seminar, Wednesday February 22, 2012: Sheldrake’s Science Delusion

Rupert Sheldrake’s new book The Science Delusion (Coronet, 2012) is a frontal attack on many of the core assumptions of simplistic scientific materialisms. Sheldrake’s title is an ironic reminder of Richard Dawkins’ own God Delusion, and Dawkins is undoubtedly one of the intended targets. Unlike many of the writers on this theme, however, Sheldrake is himself a scientist, and his book is not an attack on science but a call for science to expand its own basic postulates so as to be more adequate to the real world. As such, and despite the possibly problematic nature of some of Sheldrake’s own ideas, the book is of obvious relevance to BAHAR’s own central project. If the insights into human experience within non-Western and pre-modern forms of knowledge are to be recuperated within a scientific framework, the kind of rethinking urged by Sheldrake is vital.

We launch this semester’s seminar series with a meeting to discuss Sheldrake’s new work. Geoffrey Samuel will give a brief introduction to Sheldrake’s book, and show excerpts from Sheldrake’s own presentation of his work at the book’s launch in late January. The emphasis will however be on open discussion of the issues raised by the book.

Prospective participants may be interested in looking at a recent interview with Sheldrake, and Mary Midgley’s review of the book, in The Guardian.

The seminar will take place at the Humanities Building, Cardiff University, in Room 3.48, from 5 to 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 22, 2012. All welcome. Wine and nibbles provided. Enquiries to Geoffrey Samuel.

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