4 Days - 2 Hours per Day
18-21 September 2020 Everday at 14.00 – 16.00 (GMT + 1)
QUESTIONS: What does it mean to think? What does it mean to be a group? Is a “thinking group” a helpful way of thinking about thinking and groups?
DESCRIPTION: Our thinking group will set out to explore, combine, and then experiment with two topics: thinking and groups. As a thinking group, we will start with some thinking about thinking: how do we actually think; how can we experiment with thinking in different ways; how does thinking about thinking change things; what are the relations between thinking, feeling, and acting as well as between our own thinking and others’ thinking. We will already, then, be thinking as a group, and our second focus will be what it means to be part of a group. If we are often encouraged to choose between seeing ourselves either as isolated individuals or as parts of society, our thinking group will set out to think about an intermediate level: groups. If being human also means being a group-member, how does that change our thinking about individuals and the collective whole? What are different sorts of groups and how do they form? Families? Clubs? Teams? Communities? Religious groups? Ethnic groups? Political parties? Artist collectives? What is their importance? Does thinking together create a “thinking group”? What sorts of thinking groups can we imagine in the world today? What sorts of thinking groups would we want to organize? We will read some written pieces together, and do some thinking group experiments about thinking and groups. For instance: (1) learning to design thought experiments, abstractions, analogies, and allegories as techniques for thinking about thinking; (2) breaking into mini-groups with different approaches to interacting and communicating with each other, and then reflecting on how those interactions shaped the groups; (3) experimenting with telling, enacting, or performing the same story twice, focusing on different concepts of group identity each time; (4) brainstorming potential group formations; (5) designing interviews or actually interviewing members of different sorts of groups about what makes them a group; (6) experimenting with “group-founding” written genres like manifestos, prophecies, histories, contracts and performed genres like celebrations, shared meals, town hall meetings, protests, collective rituals, etc.
Adam Israel is currently an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at Adelphi University, designing courses including “Cosmology, Crisis, and Critique” and “Prophecy and Philosophy.” Adam is also a doctoral student at SUNY Stony Brook, completing a dissertation on the philosophy of time in Hegelian and Latin American philosophy while presenting conference papers and teaching short philosophy seminars for high school students and community groups. Adam’s background includes several years of political work in popular education and in hotel union organizing.
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