On Friday, April 28, from 12-12:50 pm, in 8-200, Thomas Blake (English/Philosophy) will present his research at the final Filling Station event of spring 2017. Thomas explains his Filling Station presentation as follows: “Though Western philosophy and religion have generally regarded the body as an obstacle to ‘pure reason’ or ‘eternal Truth,’ findings in neuroscience increasingly suggest that our cognitive architecture and emotional experience steer our ethical development. By exploring the biological dimensions of both tribalism and empathy, we may better come to see how our evolutionary adaptations have burdened us with competing drives that complicate our experience of being in the world. Crucially, however, our cognitive flexibility guarantees that a neurological trait like empathy is elastic, so concern for others can be cultivated and improved over time. Much evidence indicates that reading fiction can play a major role in this process.” An Assistant Professor of English at MCC and the co-chair of URSICA, the undergraduate research initiative at the college, Thomas earned his Ph.D. from Auburn University in 2009. Since then, he has published a range of articles on Cognitive Literary Theory and is currently editing The Palgrave Handbook of Affect Studies and Textual Criticism (forthcoming Summer 2017).
This event is open to the entire college community.