Agora Lecture – Ruth Behar: The Death of the Angel

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Professor Ruth Behar (University of Michigan) gave her agora lecture at the Turku Academy Hall on 18 August 2011. The lecture ends with a Finnish tango ”Siks’ oon mä suruinen”, danced by Ruth Behar and Lassi Sairela, sung by Topi Lehtipuu and accompanied by Marko Autio.

Ruth Behar is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, where she is also affiliated with programs in Women’s Studies, Latina/o Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Jewish Studies. Besides her academic work she is a poet, essayist and filmmaker. Her newest book is An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba (Rutgers University Press 2007). She has also written, directed, and produced a video documentary called Adio Kerida/Goodbye Dear Love: A Cuban Sephardic Journey.


Agora Lecture – Dan Sperber: Culture and Minds

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Professor Dan Sperber (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) gave his agora lecture on 17 August 2011 at the Sibelius Museum, Turku. The lecture included a musical performance, a chain improvisation by Se Ensemble.

Dan Sperber is a French social and cognitive scientist. He holds an emeritus research professorship at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, a recurrent visiting professorship at the Department of Philosophy of the Central European University in Budapest, and is the director of the International Cognition and Culture Institute. His most influential work has been in the fields of cognitive anthropology and linguistic pragmatics. He is the author numerous articles in anthropology, linguistics, philosophy and psychology and of three books: Rethinking Symbolism (Cambridge UP 1975), On Anthropological Knowledge (Cambridge UP 1985), and Explaining Culture (Blackwell 1996). Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson have developed a cognitive approach to communication known as ‘Relevance Theory’. Both the epidemiology of representations and relevance theory have been influential and also controversial.

Agora Lecture – Ilkka Niiniluoto: Progress by Enlightenment

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Professor Ilkka Niiniluoto (University of Helsinki) held the first agora lecture, entitled Progress by Enlightenment: Fact or Fiction?, at the Sibelius Museum on 16 August 2011. The lecture included an essay by Hanna Talikka, a history student from the University of Turku, and two musical performances by Se Ensemble.

Ilkka Niiniluoto is a Finnish philosopher and mathematician. He has worked as a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki since 1981. He is currently on leave from his position, serving as a Chancellor of the University of Helsinki. Niiniluoto has published widely on philosophy of science, for example on the foundations of scientific knowledge, epistemology and logic. He is the author of Critical Scientific Realism (Oxford UP 2002). He has also actively participated in the discussion on the future of Finnish university system.

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