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Dowd Lecture topic: Causes, consequences of soul and afterlife

March 25, 2014

Dowd Lecture topic: Causes, consequences of soul, afterlife

March 25, 2014

Rutgers University psychology Professor Dan Ogilvie will discuss “Some Causes and Consequences of Soul and Afterlife” when he gives the 2014 Charles Dowd Lecture this year at Skidmore. Free and open to all, Ogilvie’s talk is scheduled from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27, in Gannett Auditorium. Light refreshments will be served before the talk.

Why do most people believe they have souls that will survive the death of their bodies?  The answer to that question requires a willingness to suspend personal beliefs and consider the historical foundations of religions, philosophic traditions that bear on the mind/body problem, the evolution of the human brain, the importance of tribalism, the notion of the self and its various stages of development, and some very basic questions, such as, how does it come about that we believe anything? In his talk, Ogilvie will address this broad topic by describing the conditions under which some beliefs can become associated with survival, and thereby become guiding assumptions that resist penetration from alternative worldviews.

Ogilvie received his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University before joining the faculty of Rutgers, where he is currently a professor of psychology. His book, Fantasies of Flight, was published in 2003, and his research has been published in numerous top journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Journal of Personality and honored with the prestigious Henry Murray Award.

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