Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Human Beings in Light of Cognitive Science

Are humans merely physical organisms that inhabit earth, or are we deeper, thinking beings? Philosophy professor David Aiken is taking advantage of his sabbatical opportunity this fall to respond to this very question. In a series of articles Dr. Aiken will try to show that humans are irreducibly complex as experiencing, understanding, reflecting and evaluating creatures.

Aiken’s research is a continuation of his 2005 sabbatical work on the complexity of the Christian subject. Using the insights of the great, yet underappreciated Jesuit thinker Bernard Lonergan, Aiken hopes to open up the philosophy community to Lonergan’s ideas. “I hope this research makes a contribution to the Christian conversation about who we are as human beings in light of cognitive science.” The research will also enhance Aiken’s pedagogical skills and provide his students with necessary insight to the deeper, existential questions.

Outside of academia Aiken’s project will be available for application in church contexts, evangelism and even the secular community. “I’m attempting to sort out some of the complexities of the human person,” said Aiken. “The theory of the human person strikes at the very core of every individual’s search for meaning.” Aiken’s research hopes that looking into questions about the meaningfulness of life and the values we live by will be important to both the philosophical community and church leadership.

No comments: