The Realm of Mystery

Saturday, October 24, 2015
2:30-4:30 pm

Past Event

Donald Rumsfeld famously said, “There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the  ones we don’t know we don’t know.” From a philosophical perspective, how do we know what we don’t know? How do we go about transforming “known unknowns” into “known knowns” and “unknown unknowns” into “known unknowns”? Is one person’s unknown another person’s cognitive bias? How might a psychoanalytic understanding of dynamic mental function play a role here? And what role does mystery play in our lives, from scientific, religious, and other perspectives?


Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of seven novels, including Dare Me, The End of Everything and her latest, The Fever, which won both the International Thriller Writers and Strand Critics Award for Best Novel and was chosen one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, Amazon, the Boston Globe and the Los… read more »

Carol Rovane

Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Carol Rovane is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, where she has served as Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Philosophy Department, and was recently awarded the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award.  She publishes widely in the areas of metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action and ethics, and has authored two books:  The… read more »

Michael S. Turner

Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, the University of Chicago

Michael S. Turner is a theoretical astrophysicist and the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. He is also Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at Chicago, which he helped to establish, and formerly served as the President of the American Physical Society. He received his… read more »

Elliot Wolfson

Marsha and Jay Glazer Chair Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies, the University of California, Santa Barbara

Elliot R. Wolfson, a Fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, is the Marsha and Jay Glazer Chair Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His main area of scholarly research is the history of Jewish mysticism but he has brought… read more »

Susan Wolfson

Professor of English, Princeton University

Susan Wolfson has taught at UC Berkeley, Rutgers University, and is now Professor of English at Princeton University. She’s a specialist in the literature of British Romanticism, the era of “enlightenment” quests for knowledge and new philosophies of social freedom and social responsibility. She teaches regularly in this field, and when possible, Shakespeare, and Milton’s… read more »

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