Culture  Philosophy is phun

Wisdom can be obtained from random strangers. The tiniest details can cause shifts in perspective. Understanding can occur after accidental, unexpected epiphanies. We experience these sparks of truth daily, but can never predict when they will happen.

A hypothesis: average incidence of epiphanies will increase this weekend at Philopolis, a conference organized by students from four of Montreal’s universities. The event aims to supply Montreal with a healthy dose of philosophy, presented in a palatable and relaxed setting. For two days straight, Philopolis will deliver a barrage of workshops, panel discussions, and lectures that will attest to philosophy’s relevance today.

The vast selection of talks on philosophy and neuroscience looks fascinating, with mouth-watering titles like “Intersecting Religion, Philosophy, and Neuroscience,” and “Chaotic Music and Fractal Art: A Glimpse into the Neurophysiology of Aesthetics.”

The introductory lectures on Buddhism, Sufism, and contemporary feminism are equally drool-worthy, and talks like “The Emotional Education of Reality TV,” “The Twitter Test,” and “Logic, Evolution, and Windows,” will bring philosophy to contemporary platforms. Talks on aboriginal and Islamic philosophy present ideas that challenge Western philosophy, and the seminar on the university’s role in the accessibility of medicine brings a largely ignored issue to the fore.

Another exciting aspect is the weekend-long philosophy marathon’s half-English, half-French content. Francophone students and professors will be presenting interesting talks on topics like “Global Justice,” “History of the Critique of Sociobiology,” and “The Islamic Head Scarf, Sign of a Will to Live Together.” A presentation on Sunday titled “Salon Philosophique” sounds both mysterious and inviting.

So, instead of looking for wisdom in unexpected places, expect to receive it this weekend from discussions, presentations, and workshops. Students and professors alike will engage you theoretically and practically, and you’ll be sure to get something out of it.

The full schedule of events is available at