Dates: October 30 - December 11, 2023

Meets: Mondays, October 30 - December 11, 2023, 1-3 p.m.

Location: First Presbyterian Church

Cost: $0.00

There are still openings remaining at this time.


Please note: this course requires membership in Annual Membership or Annual Membership or Annual Membership or Semi-Annual Membership or Semi-Annual Membership

Most Osher courses are about the subjects we are “conscious” of: Music, Art, Literature, Entertainment, History, Current Events, Science, and so on. But what about consciousness itself? We humans take consciousness for granted. We never stop to wonder what it is and why it exists. And yet, without it our lives would be featureless. Our ears and neurons might respond to beautiful music, but we would not experience it. This course will explore the many aspects that make consciousness such a fascinating subject. We will define what it is, how it differs from cognition, and how it colors every aspect of our lives. We will review what neuroscientists are learning about the parts of the brain that make  consciousness possible. We will recall what the major religions of the world, both eastern and western, say about the subject, and what the great philosophers have said about its significance. And we will review some ideas about consciousness that contemporary scientists and philosophers are pursuing. The course will include simple exercises to illustrate what terms like “inner life” and “theory of mind” mean. There will be plenty of opportunity for students to express their opinions and theories about various aspects of this elusive subject.

Fee: $0.00

First Presbyterian Church

9325 Presbyterian Circle
Columbia, MD 21045

Richard Barrett

Richard Barrett, PhD, is a physicist who has served on the staffs of the Case Western Reserve University, The Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Department of Energy, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Since retiring from federal service in 2007, he has developed and delivered training courses on nuclear reactor safety for technical organizations in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. He recently developed a training course on global warming for teenagers.
Date Day Time Location
10/30/2023Monday1 PM to 3 PM First Presbyterian Church
11/06/2023Monday1 PM to 3 PM First Presbyterian Church
11/13/2023Monday1 PM to 3 PM First Presbyterian Church
11/27/2023Monday1 PM to 3 PM First Presbyterian Church
12/04/2023Monday1 PM to 3 PM First Presbyterian Church
12/11/2023Monday1 PM to 3 PM First Presbyterian Church


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