Brooklyn Institute for Social Research -
  • Students of economics are often puzzled to learn that markets are normally treated as self-standing, self-contained systems. But as people experience the increasing effects of global climate change, this form of thinking moves from dubious to deadly. All those unaccounted “inputs” and “externalities” turn out to have a frighteningly high cost. This is a challenge not only for common mainstream economic analyses, but also for many alternative or radical approaches as well. How can we put the economy back within its ecological context? What kinds of economies are imaginable that are compatible with ecological sustainability? ...
  • The eighteenth century reinvented aesthetics—the study of beauty, taste, and the nature of art—from the classical notion of aisthesis (sense or perception), in search of a science of feeling to correspond to enlightenment theories of reason. Concentrating on three traditions of aesthetic theory, the German, the French, and the Anglo-American, this course considers deeply-rooted critical suspicions about the uses of the aesthetic. It also takes up some or all of the following questions: Does aesthetic experience exist? If so, how do bodily pleasure and pain inform it? How do aesthetic categories matter, if at all? What does it mean to conceive of a politics or an ethics of aesthetics? ...
  • What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Is the mind a reducible, physical system, or is there anything more to consciousness? It’s often taken for granted that the human mind is a kind of computer (and that, similarly, computers can “think,” know, and learn much as humans do). In more classical thought, the mind was frequently regarded as independent of the body, a thing associated with an incorporeal “soul.” But how seriously do we take such metaphors? What does it mean when we say we are thinking and learning? What do we mean by “consciousness”? ...
  • Gödel’s theorems were immediately recognized as a pivotal achievement in logic and the foundations of mathematics. Since then, the incompleteness theorems are have been referenced in everything from philosophy to popular science but they are seldom carefully examined. Within philosophy of mathematics, Gödel struck a decisive blow to the logicist and formalist programs of Frege, Russell, and Hilbert–the effort, going back to Frege’s work in the late 1800s and carried forward by Whitehead and Russell’s Principia Mathematica and Hilbert’s formalist philosophy of mathematics, to provide a provably consistent axiomatic foundation for all of mathematics.

THE BROOKLYN INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH is an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute that offers critical, community-based education in the humanities and social sciences. Working in partnership with local businesses and cultural organizations, we integrate rigorous but accessible scholarly study with the everyday lives of working adults and re-imagine scholarship for the 21st century.

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Faculty Video: Night of Philosphy & Ideas 2019

For the third consecutive year, BISR faculty participated in the annual Night of Philosophy & Ideas, an all-night marathon of philosophical debate, performances, screenings, readings, and music co-presented by the Brooklyn Public Library and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. As we did last year, we recorded our faculty contributions–Suzanne Schneider on “Terrorism, Nihilism, and the […]

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