UNE Center for Global Humanities presents “Context and Reality in Psychology”

James Herbert, President of UNE
James Herbert, President of UNE

Newly-inaugurated University of New England President James D. Herbert, Ph.D., will kick off the UNE Center for Global Humanities’ ninth year with a lecture considering how the modern philosophy of science is challenging certain realist assumptions in the field of psychology. Herbert will reflect on the implications of this philosophy, known as functional contextualism, and consider whether it goes too far in dismissing questions about the existence of a world beyond our senses. 

The lecture, titled “Context and Reality in Psychology,” will take place Monday, September 11 at 6:00 p.m. at the Portland Forum in Innovation Hall on UNE’s Portland Campus.

Herbert, who assumed the UNE presidency on July 1, and will be officially inaugurated on September 9, is the author of more than 170 scholarly works in psychology, including a recent book on mindfulness and psychological acceptance in cognitive behavior therapy that was endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is well known for his writings on quackery and pseudoscience in mental health. Although not a professional philosopher, he has recently developed an interest in the philosophy of science. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He has served in many positions in the field, including director of Drexel University’s Anxiety Research and Treatment Program and co-director of its Acceptance-Based Behavior Therapy Program.

“Our new president is a devoted champion of the humanities and a vocal proponent of the vital role their lenses play in helping us to understand our world,” said Anouar Majid, founding director of the Center for Global Humanities and UNE vice president for Global Affairs and Communications. “We are delighted that he will be sharing his ideas in the vibrant public forum we have built over the last decade.”

This year’s lecture series follows a highly-successful 2016-17 season during which the Center for Global Humanities hosted world-renowned scholars and best-selling authors like James Doty and Rick Steves. In total, nine scholars are currently scheduled to visit the Center this year for lectures that are free, open to the public, and streamed live online.

Learn more about the event

To learn more about the Center for Global Humanities, visit www.une.edu/cgh


To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions




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