Famous philosopher Graham Priest gives lecture at VU Amsterdam - CANCELED!

Radical alternatives: Marxism and Buddhism

02/12/2019 | 3:56 PM

The lecture has been canceled!

Due to bad weather, his flight has been canceled and therefore the lecture cannot take place tonight.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the world is not in a happy mood. There is a huge amount of wealth, but that is largely in the hands of a small group of people and companies. This ensures, among other things, that a large part of the world does not have adequate health care and education. A nonchalant and wasteful consumerism dominates people in the global north. This economic globalization causes major damage to both the natural environment and the livelihood of people in the south. Moreover, a threatening ecological disaster awaits us, which will cause economic and social chaos.

Why is this happening?
The most urgent question for all of us is: What should be done about this? Graham Priest: "But to answer this question it is necessary to find an answer to an earlier question. Namely the question: why exactly this happens? Because, if someone does not understand why something is happening, an action to tackle the problem is probably ineffective - and even counterproductive."

Marxism and Buddhism
An answer to that question can be combined from aspects of two entirely different philosophies: Marxism and Buddhism. Priest: "One might think that these are so different that they are radically incompatible. In fact, this is not true. Both can be seen as complementary parts of the answer. Marxism offers the political and social part of the image and Buddhism offers the ethical and personal part. In this lecture I will explain why."

Rock star
VU professor and organizer Catarina Dutilh Novaes about Graham Priest: "He is a rock star amongst philosophers. He defends with enthusiasm what is initially seen as very non-conventional positions, such as dialetheism, but thanks to its argumentative power we begin to think that they are not that crazy after all. Known especially for his work in 'non-classical logic', Priest is also interested in metaphysical issues, especially from a Buddhist perspective. He continues to surprise us. He always chooses unexpected directions in his research, as now with the combination of Marxism and Buddhism."

The Keynote lecture by Graham Priest will take place on Thursday, March 14, 2019 from 7.30 pm to 9 pm in room HG-4A33 of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

190212 Graham Priest Text

About Graham Priest
Graham Priest was born in London and educated at Cambridge University (B.A., M.A.) and the London School of Economics (M.Sc., Ph.D.). He also holds a Litt.D. from the University of Melbourne. He spent many decades working at different universities in Australia (Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne), and in 2009 he joined the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. He is the most prominent contemporary champion of dialetheism, the view that some claims can be both true and false. His writing covers a wide range of topics, including nonclassical logic, metaphysics, the history of philosophy, and Buddhist philosophy.

Priest has authored numerous books, most notably Beyond the Limits of Thought (1995), An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic (2001), and In Contradiction: A Study of the Transconsistent (2006), all of which are now in their second printings. He has also published Towards Non-Being: The Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality (2005), Doubt Truth To Be a Liar (2006), and One (2014). His most recent book, The Fifth Corner of Four: An Essay on Buddhist Metaphysics and the Catuskoti came out with Oxford University Press in 2018.

Over the course of his prominent career, he has also published more than three hundred articles—in nearly every major journal of philosophy and logic. He has held visiting research positions at many universities, including the Australian National University, the Universities of Cambridge, Pittsburgh, and São Paulo, New York University, Kyoto University, and the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Graham is a fourth dan in Shitoryu Karatedo. He also has a passion for music, and particularly opera. More information on the website of Graham Priest.