- April 19, 2018
- 7:00 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
As a physicist, Alan Lightman always held a purely scientific view of the world. Until one summer evening, while looking at the stars from a small boat at sea, he was awed by the overwhelming sensation that he was merging with something larger than himself—a grand and eternal unity, a hint of something absolute and immaterial.
Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine is the result of these seemingly contradictory impulses, written as an extended meditation on an island in Maine, where Alan and his wife spend their summers. Framing the dialogue between religion and science as a contrast between absolutes and relatives, he explores our human quest for truth and meaning and the different methods of religion and science in that quest.
Listen to author and physicist Alan Lightman in a conversation about his life and work spent exploring the profound complexity of human existence.
Alan Lightman is the author of six novels, including the international best seller Einstein's Dreams and The Diagnosis, a National Book Award finalist. He is also the author of two collections of essays, a memoir, and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. A theoretical physicist as well as a writer, he has served on the faculties of Harvard and MIT. He lives in the Boston area.
Matthew T. Segall, PhD, received his doctoral degree in 2016 from the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS. His dissertation was titled Cosmotheanthropic Imagination in the Post-Kantian Process Philosophy of Schelling and Whitehead. It grapples with the limits to knowledge of reality imposed by Kant's transcendental form of philosophy and argues that Schelling and Whitehead's process-oriented approach (described in his dissertation as a "descendental" form of philosophy) shows the way across the Kantian threshold to renewed experiential contact with reality. He teaches courses on German Idealism and process philosophy for the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS. He blogs regularly at footnotes2plato.com.