On Construction: September 21, 2011

The Misunderstanding of Memes: Constructing the Idea of an Idea Virus
Jeremy Burman, Psychology
The notion that ideas are spread by social infection as “memes” (the cultural equivalents of genes) emerged through interactions between scholars, journalists, and the letter-writing public. This talk will present a summary of an article in press at “Perspectives on Science.”

Constructing the “Avant-Garde” in Jazz
Ryan Bruce, Music
This presentation discusses how the concept of the “avant-garde” was constructed within the jazz community of the 1960s. General ideologies and aesthetics of other avant-garde movements are compared to American “free jazz” to evaluate the common tropes that describe this style as a type of avant-gardism.

Concepts, Intuition and Evidence
Jill Cumby, Philosophy
Philosophers have traditionally relied on their own intuitive judgments while theorizing about various concepts of philosophical interest. Recent developments in experimental philosophy have put pressure on this method, suggesting that intuitions are not proper sources of evidence. We will discuss these developments and possible ways of moving forward.

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