London Aesthetics Forum

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.


Catherine Wilson on Robert Musil’s The Man without Qualities: Mach’s Empiricism and the Episodic and Narrative Self:

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.