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July 2019

From New York to Tehran: American Pragmatism, Muslim Engineers, and the Making of Modern Iran

July 25,3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Historians of modern Iran have unanimously agreed on the crucial role of Mehdi Bazargan (1907-1995) in the decades proceeding to the Revolution of 1979. Bazargan is best known as the prime minister of the Iranian post-revolutionary provisional government. After spending seven years in France studying engineering, Bazargan returned home in 1935 not only with a doctorate in thermodynamics, but also with a pragmatic vision that proved influential in shaping his political career as well as his interpretation of Islam.

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The Apex of Ptolemaic Astronomy: the Epitome Almagesti of Peurbach and Regiomontanus

July 30,3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

One of the treasures of the Linda Hall Library is a relatively thin, unassuming volume printed in Venice in 1496, entitled Epytoma in Almagestum Ptolemei. This book, a reworking of Ptolemy’s astronomical masterpiece, the Almagest, was written in the early 1460s by Georg Peurbach and Johannes Regiomontanus, two of the most important figures of fifteenth-century astronomy. Dr. Zepeda will tell the drama-filled story of how and why this book was written, as well as discuss its contents, its sources, and its influence upon the astronomy of the 15th and 16th centuries.

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August 2019

Analog Computation in a Digital World: Understanding the Place of a Bygone Technology in Contemporary Science

August 8,7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry
Kansas City, MO 64110 United States
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Corey Maley, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas, will discuss how research into the history of analog computers allows us to understand computation in a non-digital way. This broader understanding of computation helps make sense of contemporary claims about the computational nature of the mind and brain.

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Second Saturday Conversation: The History of Space Food

August 10,11:00 am
Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry
Kansas City, MO 64110 United States
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Dr. Charles Bourland will be in conversation with Eric Ward, Vice President for Public Programs, about the history of space food. Dr. Bourland began work at the NASA in 1969 and developed food and packages for Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, Skylab, Shuttle, Shuttle/Mir, and the International Space Station.

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Can Such a Thing be Doubted? Nietzsche and Principle of Identity in the History of Science

August 15,3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry
Kansas City, MO 64110 United States
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It is well known that Friedrich Nietzsche fundamentally changed and influenced the political and intellectual climate of the 20th century. However, it is less well known that Nietzsche’s critiques of the principle of identity predate, by decades, the largest epistemological crises encountered by western thought. The consequences of this crisis began to be felt near the middle of the 20th century in logic, mathematics, and physics. Much of what we hold to be indubitably true and conceptually unassailable, including the principle of identity, are likely only useful illusions.

Research Fellow William Parkhurst, a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of South Florida, will discuss his research project that uses Nietzsche’s critique of the principle of identity as a focal point of orientation for understanding how, historically, the principle of identity was established and then called into question in the western tradition and western science.

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For reservation questions, please email events@lindahall.org or call 816.926.8772 to leave a message.

Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information on these events.