The LAF is putting on two lectures that would have great appeal to me:
One of my favourite philosophers, Colin McGinn, on Hand, Mind and Language:
In what ways might the human hand have contributed to the evolution of the human mind and human language? To what extent do we have a “manual mind”? Could spoken language have had its origins in a gestural language based in the hand? This lecture will advance the thesis that ostension and prehension are connected and that the mind is a “grasping organ”. This provides a new and acceptable form of biological naturalism about mind and language.
The Austrian writer Robert Musil, author of the great but still little read trilogy, The Man without Qualities, obtained his PhD in in early 20th century Berlin with a thesis on Ernst Mach’s empiricistic philosophy of science. The paper will discuss Mach’s contribution to literary modernism and to the notion of the fragmentation of the self, a notion that has resurfaced in recent debates over the importance –or unimportance –of narrative continuity to selfhood.