interview Philosophy philosophy of science

Interview with Sebastjan Vörös: Minds, Worlds & Non-Duality

In a recent interview with Sebastjan Vörös, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, we explored his philosophical career, his concern with questions at the intersection of science, mind, and human existence. Vörös, with a background spans English literature, philosophy, science, and history, talked about the path that led him from an initial sense of disillusionment with the ‘habitus of a modern scientist’ to an engagement with philosophy, which was in part stirred in him by Plato’s Symposium.

Vörös’s research reflects a mixture of threads, including philosophy of mind, science, epistemology, and radical constructivism, charged with a concern about the tension between the scientific worldview and the everyday domain of human life. This tension, often expressed as the mind-body problem or the dichotomy between scientific objectivity and subjective experience, is at the core of Vörös’s philosophical career. This inquiry into the fundamental nature of reality and existence, Vörös suggests, couldn’t be fully addressed within conventional scientific or philosophical frameworks.

Being trained in a discipline—any discipline—excludes certain possibilities of thinking and research, which would otherwise be relevant and interesting to the researcher, insofar as participating within the structure of a discipline confines one to a particular way of regarding phenomena and asking questions. On this topic, Vörös talked about the value of paying close attention to the process of moving from one discipline to another, the process of switching between frameworks.

When I asked Vörös about the notion of vital normativity, he pointed out how life (living) involves distinguishing what matters for the continuation and flourishing of life. This point challenges the mechanistic models that overlook the inherent value-giving and meaning-making capacity of living beings. The works of Vörös, influenced by thinkers like Francisco Varela, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Georges Canguilhem, aim to bridge disparate philosophical traditions and scientific perspectives, constructing a holistic (organismic) view of life as a dynamic interplay of self-organizing processes.

From my perspective, the interview sheds a bit of light on Vörös’s journey, so far, and helps me reconsider the ways in which we understand the relationship between science, philosophy, and human experiences. These questions need to be renewed, and we cannot truly pursue them unless we renew and revitalize our relationship with them. How does one search for an integrated understanding of the world, one that honors the complexities of life and the rich possibilities of human inquiry.

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What are your thoughts on this dialogue? Feel free to comment, whether here on this post or on the YouTube video linked above. Your engagement enriches—and enables the continuation of—our collective exploration.

2 thoughts on “Interview with Sebastjan Vörös: Minds, Worlds & Non-Duality”

  1. Hi Davood,

    Thanks for your work. I’m interested in joining your reading group if the group isn’t too large. I have a solid background in Lit and writing as a private tutor and writer. Please let me know if there’s room for one more engaged and enthusiastic voice.

    Patrick England

    1. Hi Patrick — Thank you for writing and for your interest. Our small group can most certainly welcome another person. I will follow-up with an email shortly.

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