On 22 November, Professor Sebastian Kolodziejczyk (Jagiellonian University), delivered a talk entitled "Non-conceptual Content and Religious Experience" at the HPP/Ian Ramsey Centre's 2018-2019 seminar series, in association with the project Science, Theology and Humane Philosophy: Central and Eastern European Perspectives.
Abstract: It is a widely held opinion that the language of religion is ambiguous from the semantic and logical points of view. Consider sentences like: 'God takes care of me', 'I feel that God is with me in the most difficult moments of life', or 'God’s intentions are unknown to me and other people'. It is hard to find out the effective method for making such the sentences semantically and logically significant. Some argue that such sentences are meaningless for syntactic and semantic reasons; others that they are expressions of believers’s private states of experience; another group will accept meaningfulness of them but with some restrictions. In my lecture I will argue that what makes religious language problematic is related to a much more sophisticated phenomenon which is common to many types of cognitive and linguistic activity, namely the non-conceptuality of broadly understood experience.
Sebastian Tomasz Kołodziejczyk is Associate Professor at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In 2015 he took up the Chair of Metaphysics. He studied at the University of Bristol and the Univesity of Oxford (without degree) and received his PhD from the Jagiellonian University. He has held post-doc positions at the City University of New York and the University de Geneve in Switzerland. His areas of specialistion include metaphysics, metametaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. He has published many papers in Polish and English about the nature of metaphysics, non-conceptual content, intuition as a tool in philosophy, and relationships between philosophy and cognitive science. In 2006 his first book came out entitled Conceptual Boundaries of Metaphysics, in 2011 he edited Guide to Metaphysics, and in 2013 (with Janusz Salamon) Knowledge, Action, and Pluralism.