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McGILL UNDERGRADUATE COLLOQUIUM IN PHILOSOPHY

January 30, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

McGILL UNDERGRADUATE COLLOQUIUM IN PHILOSOPHY

FEBRUARY 2011

7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Leacock Building, Room 927

Join us for great discussion with fellow philosophy students.

Students, professors, and friends are welcome.

Light refreshments will be served.

Psychoanalytic Approaches to the Rex Nemorensis:

Allegory, Archetype, and Fantasy

Emma Ryman, 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

The ancient Roman ritual of the King of the Grove (the Rex Nemorensis) serves as a powerful interpretative tool for exploring countless aspects of the human psyche on both an individual and a societal level. Taking a psychoanalytic approach to this ritual – involving the continual challenge and murder of a succession of priests at the Grove of Diana in Aricia – weaves together the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, and the fantasies of death and rebirth contained within them both. As an instantiation of a life-death-rebirth deity, the Rex Nemorensis can be seen as a projection of the rebirth archetype present in the collective unconscious. By examining the death-rebirth fantasy and approaching the Rex Nemorensis on an individual, as well as a representative, level, the continuum between the outwardly aggressive and the inwardly self-destructive aspects of the death drive is revealed. Further, by seeing the desire for death as a desire to return to the womb, the seemingly suicidal impulse of the fugitive slave in the ritual can be seen in itself as a desire not just for death, but also for rebirth. The King of the Grove exemplifies how the structures of psychical life are ever-present in the rituals and institutions which society constructs and in which society partakes.

Perceiving and Communicating Temporally Extended Events

Jonathan Silver, 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm

In this paper I attempt to make sense of Augustine’s solution, in Confessions XI, to the problem how we perceive and communicate about temporally extended events if it is impossible that temporally extended events can exist. I argue that Augustine’s solution is that although temporally extended events cannot actually exist, they can apparently exist in the form of retained stretches of times present in a perceiver’s memory. In addition, I argue, especially based on Augustine’s view that there is no way to track objective time, that Augustine’s theory of time leads to the conclusion that there is no way to confirm that we accurately perceive and communicate about temporally extended events; however, this is not a problem for his theory…

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