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ESRI 2024: “Living in Groundlessness with Responsibility”


This year marks the second year in a three-year thematic arc, “Caring for Life,” which aims to foreground caring as an active, processual, and participative feature of being sentient in a wildly complex and rapidly evolving ecosystem. In year 1 (2023), “Sentience and Responsibility in Critical Times,” we began by questioning the basic terms of inquiry: What is sentience? How do we understand responsibility in the widest possible sense? How might responsibility at once emerge from sentience and tend toward sentience?

This year, we will interrogate more closely the notion of groundlessness in all its conceptual and existential density, carefully reflecting on the phenomenology of ground/lessness, how meaning arises from groundlessness, and how groundlessness intimately informs our sense of ethics and being-in-the-world. The week will loosely follow an arc of investigation, allowing faculty and participants to:

  • reflect together on the basic terms of inquiry (what exactly does one mean by ground and groundlessness?);
  • consider the import and valence of groundlessness within and across several academic disciplines (philosophy, neuroscience, quantum physics, psychology, anthropology, and more);
  • explore the possibility of a ‘middle path’ that considers wisdom and compassion as two sides of the same coin;
  • and find ways of integrating the experience of groundlessness — or the realisation of it — in our everyday lives and work.
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Posted on April 2, 2024 by webmaster

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