26 May 2022 | 15h00 | Online
The 04_MEMORY MATTER MATTERS seminar will start at 15:00 WEST with a short film from our series 'Architecture: a reason for Memory' (approximately 15min.) + Introduction to the MEMORY MATTER MATTERS seminar theme and keynote speaker presentation by Pedro Borges de Araújo. We intend for Gareth Griffiths’ WHAT DOES LOCAL MEAN? talk to start at 16:00 WEST (Porto local time). We reserved an hour from 16:00 to 17:00 for the lecture. After the presentation, there will be a Q&A period of approximately one hour.
Abstract: Relativism in its many variations (ontological, metaphysical, conceptual, linguistic, cultural, moral, etc.) is a perennial topic in philosophy; linguist John Lucy quipped that it has been debunked so often and so regularly that one begins to wonder whether it might really have some validity, while another linguist Steven Pinker condescendingly describes it as “the Standard Social Science Model”. Philosopher Susan Haack argued that there might be "shallow" and "deep" variations, both of which, however, are ultimately trivial. Psychologist Marcel Kinsbourne once argued that despite all psychological data, relativism may well remain an issue for philosophy alone, in the sense, that it remains unmeasurable; i.e. any measuring will remain a perspective tied to a particular culture, namely Western technology. These issues – on different sides of the same coin of relativist argumentation – are central to the thinking of various Finnish philosophers (notably Pauli Pylkkö and Tere Vadén) in their raising the question of what “Finnish thinking” (Finnish being a non-Indo-European language) would entail; on the other side of the same coin are psychologists and linguists (notably Fröde Strömnes) in pursuing empirical proof for Finnish cognitive relativism. But there is also an architecture aspect to the issue: the above latter thinkers have addressed the issue of architecture, while Finnish architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa has talked about how “We Finns tend to organize space topologically, on the basis of an amorphous forest geometry.”
Gareth Griffiths is an Helsinki-based Welsh architect, book editor and Finnish/Swedish-English translator (approx. 50 books). Studied architecture at Portsmouth Polytechnic, UK, and Tampere University of Technology, Finland, and philosophy at the University of Helsinki and the University of Essex. Lecturer in the history of modern urban planning at Tampere University, and lecturer in architecture theory at Aalto University. Series editor of Datutop, Tampere University's publication series on architecture and planning theory.
The programme – Architecture: Philosophy and Sciences – is a partnership between three R&D centres:
Mind Language Action Research Group (MLAG) - Institute of Philosophy of the University of Porto - FIL/00502
CEAU - Centre for Studies of Architecture and Urbanism of the Faculty of Architecture of University of Porto
CITAD - Centre for Research in Territory, Architecture, and Design/G1 of FAA / Faculty of Architecture and Arts of Lusíada University –North/Porto.
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
U.Porto e Banco Santander - Programa Santander Universidades