Sunday, April 13, 2008
A curiosity is that Chalmers did his doctorate at Indiana, working under Douglas Hofstadter, the second Class of 1970 philosophy speaker.
Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas Hofstadter (author of Godel, Escher and Bach) gave the Class of 1970 Philosophy Lecture on Thursday, April 26h at 8:00pm in Winants Hall on the College Avenue Campus. A SRO crowd estimated around 300 filled the lecture hall to hear this pioneer in cognitive science talk about consciousness (what has it, what doesn't).
On the faculty of Indiana University, Hofstadter is College Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science; Adjunct Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Philosophy, Psychological & Brain Sciences and Comparative Literature.
In keeping with the groundrules of the Class of 1970 Philosophy Lecture, Prof. Hofstadter was selected by a group of undergraduate philosophy majors.
A major funding commitment for the Class of 1970 is: The Class of 1970 Speaks Up, a five part lecture program that will run for the period 2005-2010. At the Class's 35th Reunion, Class President Charlie Carroll announced that the Class would put $20,000 towards this program ($4000 per year).
What's unique about it is that undergraduate majors in selected departments will invite speakers and coordinate the events, which will be open to the public (especially members of the Class of 1970). Majors will work with a faculty advisor and, as needed, members of the Class of 1970 will get involved in the planning too.
The belief is that this program will enrich the quality of the educational experience on several levels. Obviously, top-notch speakers will be brought in and their thoughts will be exciting. But, on a more subtle level, undergraduates will be empowered ro make decisions that rarely are put in their hands. They aren't working without safety nets -- the faculty advisors will play roles -- but they will be negotiating, coordinating, staging events that may see hundreds of guests come to campus to be entertained and educated.