Centenary's Forum

Immaturity and dependence are the inability to use one's own intellect without the direction of another. One is responsible for this immaturity and dependence, if its cause is not a lack of intelligence, but a lack of determination and courage to think without the direction of another. Sapere aude! Dare to know! is therefore the slogan of the Enlightenment.

—Immanuel Kant, "What is Enlightenment?"

Welcome to the Forum. We choose a topic, and invite experts, but in the end, students and citizens have the last word.

Theme: Free Will and Neuroscience


This year's Forum addresses free will and neuroscience. Have neuroscientists shown that all our actions are determined? Are we free to make moral choices? Dr. Alfred Mele is our expert guest. He argues that neuroscientific findings shouldn't undermine belief in freedom. The following week, students and citizens respond. The Philosophy Discussion Group invites you to attend both events and join our discussion. Have neuroscientists shown that we aren't free? Are we free? Can we know if we are?

Neuro-physiological equipment will be on hand for demonstrations of EEG and EMG recordings. This equipment is similar to the set up used by neuroscientist Benjamin Libet in his investigation of consciousness, initiation of movement, and free will.

Questions about free will, determinism, and neuroscience? Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for answers.

Order Dr. Mele's book from Oxford University Press.


Part I: Dr. Alfred Mele

March 9th, 7pm

Whited Room, Bynum Commons

Dr. Alfred Mele is the William H. and Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University.

Pictures from the first event.

Part II: Students and Citizens

March 16th, 7pm

Whited Room, Bynum Commons

A group of students and citizens will continue the discussion that Dr. Mele started the previous week. Afterwards, the audience can ask questions and we will discuss.

Students Citizens

Andrew Osborn,

Nicholas Goeders,
LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport

Carol Verbeek,
Political Science

Chatham "Chat" Reed,
Lawyer in Private Practice

Remember to check the Shreveport Times for columns from Dr. Mele, our students and citizens prior to each meeting.

We'd like to thank the Convocations Subcommittee, the Shreveport Times, the Centenary Muses, and Centenary's Office of Public Relations for all their support.