The dates of the next Nalanda dialogue are: February the 22nd ton 24th.
I recently received the following announcement about it (unedited):
We are happy to announce that the 12th Dialog on Perception is going to be held from 22nd to 24th of February’ 2018 in Navanalanda Mahavihara ‘ Nalanda . As we had been trying during the past Dialogs ( please visit the Past Dialog section of www.nalandadialogmission.wordpress.com), this meeting is also intended to open Dialog between Science and Philosophy. This time we will concentrate on different aspects of perception – about different epistemological and logical issues involved in the passage from perception to knowledge formation. Particular interest will be paid on the way theoretical concepts are formed within the framework of mathematical language on the basis of observed/ perceived data.
However, one of the most pressing impressions left during the past Dialogs is about an acute difficulty – we often fail to address point blank the question that what precisely constitute the problem area which really calls for multiple inputs from different disciplines! In fact scientific disciplines, though presuppose a philosophy, in one way or another, are internally autonomous to a great extent. Practical bread and butter problems in science are strongly believed to be taken adequate care from within the framework of their own technical Languages so far developed, or which is possible to be developed , in principle , on the basis of the existing language itself – modifying or extending accordingly.
What then is exactly the reference area in the existing body of scientific knowledge to seek help from domains outside, which belong technically and pedagogically to other disciplines ! What specifically are the epistemological difficulties involved in the process of scientific knowledge formation which can be made more sense by ‘philosophical’ solicitation?
As we know that there are a stable body of Answers (though differs over a wide spectrum of opinions!) to this question in context of Western knowledge dynamics.
But this question is far more difficult to answer if asked in context of Indian knowledge dynamics for obvious reasons internal to the different cultural dynamics. We have hardly any good reason to single out any given slot of period out of the huge time span through which Indian knowledge dynamics developed which can be of better help to answer this question compared to others. Apart from pointing out some surface analogies, we are hardly better yet in assessing this question even from rigorous historical point of view of knowledge dynamics in Indian context.
In fact this is the question we are trying to make sense during the last few Dialogs. However, one of the significant lessons of History of Ideas in general and science in particular is that , a large portion of philosopher’s typical concerns , which has been usually debated so far inconclusively can be formulated further to figure out Answers .
Of course Humanity is faced with a vast number of problems which can’t be solved quickly enough in terms of definite Answers to guide our actions and decisions. But still an impressive variety of problem areas of traditional philosophical concerns are there which can be further translated in modern terms to expect Answers ( at least better empirical justification )of large varieties instead of inconclusive debate .
During the past 2/3 years we have been able to figure out areas of mutual concerns which really offers further formulation which are even at the disposal of experimental verification . Many problems of traditional philosophical concerns are now at the disposal of empirical verification leading to a subject area described sometimes as experimental metaphysics .
However, experimental metaphysics is still an aim which is largely envisaged in context of the Realism issue pertaining to quantum mechanics.
Nalanda mission in its present stage hopes to extend the scope of the experimental metaphysics to include traditional Indian philosophical concerns.
An impressive variety if of issues had already been singled out which can be further translated tro look for better interdisciplinary norms of comparison within empirical framework . Some of the issues are –
1. Identity and Individuation 2. Free Will 3. Metaphysics of Relation ..
12th Nalanda Dialog hopes to add more to this list or at least to add variation to the existing list.
For any further querry , please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The program is as follows:
12th Nalanda Dialogue (on Perception)
Inaugural Functions: 9.30 – 10.30
Tea Break: 10.30 – 11.00
Invited Lectures: Perception and Reality
(1) Nyaya Perspective: 11.00- 11.45
(2) Buddhist Perspective: 11.45 -12.30
(3) Neuroscience Perspective : 12.30-13.15
Lunch Break: 13.15- 14.30
Afternoon: 4) Physicist’s perspective (14.30-15.00)
Panel Discussions ( 5 persons): The Epistemological issues about perception (From Indian Philosophy and Physics and neuroscience}: 15.00 – 16.00
Interactions with the Audience: 16.00-16.30
Invited Lectures: On Reality of the theoretical concepts
Matter and Atom from Nyaya-Vaisesika an Buddhist perspective : 10.00- 10.45
Matter and Atom in Modern Science: ( how the reality issue had been configured right from Kinetic Theory to high energy physics )10.45- 11.30
Tea Break: 11.30- 12.15
Panel Discussions ( 5 persons) : 12.15 – 13.00 ( Discussions should be centered on methodology used by Indian Philosophers and scientists )
Lunch Break: 13.00- 14.00
Invited Lectures: What constitutes causal explanation?
Principle of Causality and Modern Science : 14.00-14.45
Buddhist Perspective : 14.45- 15.30
Tea Break: 15.30 -15.45
Panel Discussions (5 persons): 15.45- 16.45: What a Natural Law is about – an expression of description of relation between sense data (normal perception or experimentally extended) or explanation?
Interactions with the audience: 16.45- 17.30
Morning Lectures: Development of concept of an objective out-there Reality referring to the Century old debate between the Realists and Phenomenalists…
Space-time Ontology in Modern Science ( from Newton’s Theory of Gravitation to Einstein’s one and Quantum Field Theory) : 10.00-10.45
Concept of Akasha and Kala in Ancient Indian Wisdom: 10.45-11.30
Tea Break: 11.30-11.45
Panel Discussions ( 5 persons) 11.45- 13.00
Panel Discussions (5 persons): The notion of objectivity in modern science and Ancient Indian wisdom: 14.00 – 15.30
High Tea : 15.30-16.00
Valedictory Session: 16.00 – 16.30