/ Philosophy Department

Plenary Speakers

Vincent Lloyd
Villanova University

“ʻNot Only Do the Mouths Singʼ: Religious Practice and the Sanctity of Life in Black Thought”


The Caribbean poet Aimé Césaire suggests that Black colonial experience can provide privileged access to the sanctity of life by putting in relief forces of domination that distort life’s holiness. In the Christmas liturgy, he writes, “Not only do the mouths sing, but the hands, the feet… and your entire being liquefies sounds, voices, and rhythm.” What would it mean to take Césaire’s suggestion as the starting point of a philosophical argument about the relationship between the sanctity of life and religious practice?

Elizabeth Schechter
Indiana University Bloomington

“Minds, Bodies and Selves After Split-brain Surgery”


There’s been a lot of philosophical literature (some of it by Christian philosophers) on what happens to the unity of consciousness and self after split-brain surgery. I do argue that the surgery divides consciousness and even leaves two psychological beings in place. But because they are so substantially co-embodied, they cannot distinguish themselves from each other, and in this sense are not distinct self-conscious beings of the sort persons necessarily are, and thus continue to be subpersonal parts of one person.