The Pacific Index

Renowned professor to speak on campus

Dion MacDonald

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For several years, Pacific’s Undergraduate Philosophy Conference has brought in a guest speaker as a highlight of the event.

This year, the speaker will be Daniel Dennett, professor of philosophy at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

“We’ve been trying to get him for years,” said philosophy professor David Boersema, who is also the annual conference’s organizer.

Now in it’s 19th year, the conference will be held Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18.

The greater establishment that both time and a slew of prestigious guest speakers brought makes the conference duly enthusiastic about this year’s speaker. Dennett, who had been invited in the past to be the guest speaker, was finally able to attend this year’ conference.

The title of Dennett’s Keynote speech, to be delivered at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Marsh 216, is “Information as Design Worth Stealing.”

Due to his affiliation with the New Atheist movement, Dennett has been called one of the “four horsemen of the non-apocalypse,” along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens.

However, Boersema said that Dennett will not be speaking on the subject of religion, instead focusing on his work within academic circles.

Dennett’s academic work centers around the philosophy of mind and philosophy of biology.

Boersema said Dennett has been a big figure in the field “for decades,” and there are classes currently being taught at Pacific that use work he has published.

“It would be like bringing in Stephen Hawking,” said Boersema.

In addition to delivering the keynote speech, Dennett will appear at a live taping of the “Philosophy Talk” radio program in Tom Miles Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

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Renowned professor to speak on campus