Daniel Kolak

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Daniel Kolak (born 1955 in Zagreb, Croatia) is a Croatian-American philosopher who works primarily in philosophy of mind, personal identity, cognitive science, philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of logic, philosophy of religion, and aesthetics. He is professor of philosophy at the William Paterson University of New Jersey and an Affiliate of the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS). Kolak is the founder of the philosophical therapy known as cognitive dynamics.

Biography[edit]

Kolak is a prolific philosopher, with over thirty-five authored books and nearly two hundred books edited.[1] He is professor of philosophy at the William Paterson University of New Jersey (WPUNJ), where he chaired the Philosophy Department and founded and directed the WPUNJ cognitive science laboratory. He also directs research at the Brain Behavior Center and is an affiliate of Rutgers University's Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS). Kolak's numerous articles, stories, essays, books and other creative works bridge traditional philosophy with all areas of inquiry and expression, from neuroscience to quantum mechanics, from logic and mathematics to art, music and literature. Among his best known recent works are I Am You: The Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics, Principles of Cognitive Science, Wittgenstein's Tractatus, Wisdom Without Answers, From the Presocratics to the Present, In Search of God: The Language and Logic of Belief, The Experience of Philosophy, Self, Cosmos, God, Self and Identity, and the novel In Search of Myself: Life, Death and Personal Identity. He is editor, chief programmer and designer of the interactive electronic library The Philosophy Source on CD-ROM, and was Series Editor of the Wadsworth Philosopher Series and Philosophical Topics. As Series Editor at Longman, he is currently bringing out new editions of the complete canon of philosophy from ancient times to the present. Translated into over a dozen languages, collectively his books have sold over a million copies worldwide.[2]

Kolak is the originator of the philosophy known as Open Individualism, which he developed along with his view of metaphysical subjectivism and the nonlocality of consciousness, according to which there exists but one numerically identical individual subject who is everyone. In his groundbreaking I Am You: the Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics, he writes: "The central thesis of I Am You - that we are all the same person - is apt to strike many readers as obviously false or even absurd. How could you be me and Hitler and Gandhi and Jesus and Buddha and Greta Garbo and everybody else in the past, present and future? In this book I explain how this is possible. Moreover, I show that this is the best explanation of who we are for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it provides the metaphysical foundations for global ethics." Variations on Kolak's theme have been voiced periodically throughout the ages (the Upanishads, Averroes, Giordano Bruno, Schopenhauer, Josiah Royce); more recently, physicists such as Erwin Schrödinger, Fred Hoyle, and Freeman Dyson have espoused it.[3]

Kolak continues to work on the logical foundations of quantum mechanics and a mathematical model of consciousness (e.g. Stone-Čech compactification) that integrates relativity and quantum mechanics using an "Ultra-Strong (Open World) Nonlocality" variation on a (spinning, with closed timelike paths) Gödel universe, and other such foundational issues in mathematics, physics and logic further refined with Jaakko Hintikka's IF (Independence-Friendly) and epistemic logics.[4][5] He has also made original contributions to the philosophy of religion, the history of philosophy, and the teaching of philosophy.

Kolak is the founder of the philosophical therapy known as cognitive dynamics, which has been used to create new paradigms and technologies for expanding human consciousness, increasing intelligence, and improving creativity. It is still under development. More information about this aspect of Kolak's research in cognitive science (cognitive neuroscience; self-representation; information processing; knowledge representation; mental models; the logic and mathematics of mental processes; autism, confabulation, self-deception, MPD; dreaming), philosophy of mind (personal identity, consciousness, and self; philosophical psychology; psychoanalytic theory) can be found at the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS).

Kolak is an expert on dreams, particularly about how the brain synthesizes experience and creates the virtual world we call reality. His unique work on lucid dreams has recently been featured in a documentary, produced by NBC/Universal, which aired in November 2006.[6]

As a composer and musician he has performed in concert on numerous occasions, both solo and with leading musicians such as Charlie Byrd, Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Zappa. As a theatrical director and composer he has won the coveted Helen Hayes Creativity Award for productions such as Sartre's No Exit at the Source Theater in Washington, D.C. Among his film work is the teleplay Id-Entity, about multiple personality disorder as seen through the eyes of four patients, which Kolak wrote, directed, and produced, and the score and soundtrack for Forsaken Cries: the Case of Rwanda which he produced for PBS, by Amnesty International and narrated by Danny Glover. Most recently Kolak served as special advisor to Martin Scorsese in the making of the Academy Award-winning film The Departed.

In the United States, Kolak successfully lobbied the U.S. government on behalf of the children and retirees of the United Nations and its sister institutions the IMF and World Bank. As president and co-founder of the G-4 Coalition in Washington, D.C., Kolak helped write a bill, sponsored by US Senator Ted Kennedy, allowing the children and retirees of the IMF and World Bank to become permanent U.S. residents. He testified before Congress and worked together with former World Bank President Robert S. McNamara to lobby successfully for the bill's passage. For his efforts on behalf of the international community living in the United States, he received a personal commendation from the Secretary General of the United Nations.

Publications[edit]

Books[edit]

  • The Three Pillars of Wisdom, New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007.
  • Socrates on Trial, New York: Pearson/Longman, 2007.
  • Philosophy of Religion, New York: Longman, 2007.
  • Cognitive Science (w/ W. Hirstein, P. Mandik and J. Waskan) London: Routledge, 2006.
  • The Longman Standard History of Philosophy (w/ G. Thomson), New York: Pearson/Longman, 2005.
  • The Longman Standard History of 20th Century Philosophy (w/ G. Thomson), Pearson/Longman, 2005.
  • The Longman Standard History of 19th Century Philosophy (w/ G. Thomson), Pearson/Longman, 2005.
  • The Longman Standard History of Modern Philosophy (w/ G. Thomson), New York: Pearson/Longman, 2005.
  • The Longman Standard History of Medieval Philosophy (w/ G. Thomson), New York: Pearson/Longman, 2005.
  • The Longman Standard History of Ancient Philosophy (w/ G. Thomson), New York: Pearson/Longman, 2005.
  • I Am You: The Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Synthese Library, Springer, 2004.
  • Quantifiers, Questions, and Quantum Physics (with John Symons) Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 2004.
  • On Hintikka, Belmont: Wadsworth, 2001.
  • Questioning Matters, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.
  • In Search of Myself (novel), Belmont: Wadsworth, 1999.
  • Wittgenstein's Tractatus, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
  • Mayfield Anthology of Western Philosophy, Foreword by W. V. O. Quine, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998.
  • From the Presocratics to the Present: A Personal Odyssey, McGraw-Hill, 1998.
  • Lovers of Wisdom, 2nd Ed., Belmont: Wadsworth, 2000; 1st Ed., 1997 (Chinese translation: Beijing University Press, 2003).
  • From Plato to Wittgenstein: The Historical Foundations of Mind, Wadsworth, 1994.
  • One Thousand and One Questions, Belmont: Wadsworth, 1994.
  • In Search of God: The Language and Logic of Belief, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1994.
  • Self, Cosmos, God (w/ R. Martin), Dallas: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993.
  • Self and Identity (w/ R. Martin), New York: Macmillan, 1991.
  • The Experience of Philosophy (w/ R. Martin), 6th Ed., 2005, New York: Oxford University Press, 694 pp; 5th Ed., 2001; 4th Ed., 1998, 3rd Ed., 1995; 2nd Ed., 1993; 1st Edition, 1990.
  • Wisdom Without Answers (w/ Raymond Martin) 5th Ed., Belmont: Wadsworth, 2001, 162 pp; 4th Ed., 1998; 3rd Ed., 1995; 2nd Ed., 1991; 1st Ed., 1989 (Croatian translation, 2006; Korean translation, 2003, Sakyejul Publishers; Portuguese translation, 2004).

Articles and chapters[edit]

  • "Who Am I?", Synthese: An International Journal for the Methodology, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science, forthcoming.
  • "Identity Matters: A Response to Shoemaker, Catterson, Lombard, Martin, Schechtman, Thomson, and Zovko," Synthese: An International Journal for the Methodology, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science, forthcoming.
  • "Meaning" (with Raymond Martin), in Voices of Wisdom, Gary Kessler, ed., Wadsworth, 2006.
  • "Morality and the Problem of Other Persons: From Sidgwick to Rawls and Parfit," Experience of Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • "The Man Who Mistook Himself For the World," Experience of Philosophy, Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • "The Results are In: The Scope and Import of Hintikka's Philosophy," Quantifiers, Questions and Quantum Physics, Springer 2004, pp. 205–268.
  • "Nicholas Krebs: Coincidentia Oppositorun and the Identity of the Infinite," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Erwin Schrödinger: Wave Mechanics and the Advent of Quantum Theory," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Augustus De Morgan: Application of Algebraic and Numerical Analysis to Science," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Carl Neumann: Galilean-Newtonian Theory of Mechanics," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Alfred North Whitehead: Actuality, Possibility, and Ingression Through Subject to Object," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Hendrik Lorentz: Local Time, the Fitzgerald Contraction and the Lorentz Transformation as the Basis for Einstein's Restricted Theory of Relativity," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Johann Bernoulli III: Mathematical Calculus, Differential Equations and the Tautochrone Curve," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Springer, 2006.
  • "William Wollaston: Three Dimensional Geometrical Conception of Atoms and the Camera Lucida," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Springer, 2006.
  • "Johann Balmer: the Role of the Spectral Series Formula in the Advent of Quantum Mechanics," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Victor Hess and the Discovery of Cosmic Rays," Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Thomas Hockey, ed., Dordrecht, (Netherlands): Springer, 2006.
  • "Is Hintikka's Logic First Order?" (with Matti Eklund), Synthese: An International Journal for the Methodology, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science, 131(3): pp. 371-388, June 2002.
  • "Consciousness, Self and Reality" (with Daniel C. Dennett), Questioning Matters, McGraw-Hill, 2000, pp. 338-348.
  • "Philosophy, the Bible and God" (with Alvin Plantinga), Questioning Matters, McGraw-Hill, 2000, pp. 491-507.
  • "Aesthetics: the State of the Art" (with Jerrold Levinson), Questioning Matters, McGraw-Hill, 2000, pp. 690-697.
  • "Quantum Cosmology, the Anthropic Principle, and Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?", Experience of Philosophy, 5th Ed., New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 427-459.
  • "Descartes Among the Ruins," Experience of Philosophy, 5th ed. Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 96-103.
  • "Grand Unification Theories (GUTs) and the End of the World," Experience of Philosophy, 3rd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
  • "Philosophy After Death," Experience of Philosophy, 3rd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 464–467.
  • "The Church of Science," The Experience of Philosophy, 3rd ed., New York: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 317–325.
  • "Finding Our Selves: Identification, Identity and Multiple Personality," Philosophical Psychology 6 (1993), pp. 363-386.
  • "The Metaphysics and Metapsychology of Personal Identity: Why Thought Experiments Matter in Deciding Who We Are," American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (1993), pp. 39-50.
  • "Art and Intentionality," Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 48 (1990), pp. 158-162.
  • "Personal Identity and Causality: Becoming Unglued" (with Raymond Martin), American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987).
  • "The Incredible Shrinking Zeno" (with David Goloff) in The Experience of Philosophy, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Eds. 2005, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 41-56.
  • "Über Sinn un Bedeutung" (translation of Frege's "On Sense and Reference"), Mayfield Anthology of Western Philosophy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998, pp. 990–998.
  • "Mysticism and the Experience of God" in The Experience of Philosophy, 3rd & 4th Ed., pp. 244-256.
  • "The Glue of Belief," Experience of Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, 4th ed., pp. 238-330.
  • "Pascal's Wager Refined," Experience of Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, 3rd. ed., pp. 225– 230.
  • "Causality, Responsibility and the Free Will Defense," in Self, Cosmos, God, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993, pp. 286-301.
  • "Experiment II," The Experience of Philosophy, 2nd Ed., New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 330-337.
  • "The Wine is in the Glass," The Experience of Philosophy, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st eds., New York: Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 473–477 (6th ed.), reprinted in Questions for the Soul, Keith Kraseman, ed., Copley Publishing, 1998.
  • "The Experiment," The Experience of Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 232-242.
  • "Unity of Consciousness" (with Raymond Martin) in Self & Identity, New York: Macmillan, 1991, pp. 3-15.
  • "Personal Identity" (with Raymond Martin) in Self & Identity, New York: Macmillan, 1991, pp. 163-180.
  • "Self" (with Raymond Martin) in Self & Identity, New York: Macmillan, 1991, pp. 339-353.

Papers and talks[edit]

  • "Stepping into the Same Rivers: Intelligence, Personal Identity and the Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics," The International Symposium: Platonism and Forms of Intelligence, The Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb, Croatia and Hvar, Croatia, October 2006.
  • "Virtue, Individuality, and the Function of Higher Education," Millersville University, Millersville, PA, March 2006.
  • "The College of Liberal Arts and the Arts of Liberation," address to faculty, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, April 2006.
  • "The Meaning of (College) Life," invited open forum with students, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, April 2006.
  • "Explaining Consciousness: Nonlocality, Subjectivity, and Stone-Cech Compactification," Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, Indiana, February 2006.
  • "The Function of Education," Address to Deans and Chairs, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, February 2006.
  • "Philosophy and Jazz: Shedding Logic" (lecture and concert), Provost's Faculty Research/Creative Expression Series, William Paterson University of New Jersey, April 2005.
  • "Questions, Quantifiers, and Quantum Physics: A Roundtable Symposium," American Philosophical Association, Boston, December 2004.
  • "IF Logic, Nonlocality, and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics," invited paper, American Philosophical Association, with J. Hintikka and J. Van Benthem, Chicago, March 2004.
  • "Symposium: Philosophy and the Arts—the Aesthetics of Jazz; A Roundtable Dialogue Between Philosophers and the World of Jazz Musicians and Teachers," WPUNJ, March 2003.
  • "Jazz and Philosophy," Music Honors Seminar Guest Lecture, WPUNJ, October 2002.
  • "Generating Ideas for Research," Program of the 6th Annual Conference of the NJCS Fairleigh Dickinson University, April 2002.
  • "Turning Communication Theory inside out," Keynote Address, 59th Annual NY State Communication Association, Monticello, NY, October 2001.
  • "Pleased to Make Your Acquaintance: Wittgenstein's Ontology of Language," 59th Annual New York State Communication Association, Monticello, NY, October 2001.
  • "Dennett, Sperry, and the Bifurcation of Consciousness," 59th Annual New York State Communication Association, Monticello, NY, October 2001.
  • Colloquium Chair: Logic in Philosophy, "What is Modeled by Truth in All Models" and "Nominalism and Metalogic," Pacific 2000 Meeting, American Philosophical Association.
  • "The Metaphysics of Identity," Research Seminar, HSS, WPUNJ November 2000.
  • "I Am You," Bergen Community College, October 2000.
  • "This Talk Has No Title," New Jersey Humanists, Upper Saddle River, NJ, November 2000.
  • "Much Ado about Nothing," New Jersey Humanists, Upper Saddle River, NJ, November 1999.
  • "A Dialogue with Alvin Plantinga," WPUNJ, December 1998.
  • "Logic, Space, and Architecture: The Implications of Technology," Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 1997.
  • "The Inward Journey," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Malacca, Malaysia, March 1997.
  • "Aloneness," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Phuket, Thailand, March 1997.
  • "Relationship," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Bombay, India, March 1997.
  • "Freedom," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 1997.
  • "The Wholeness of Life," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Muscat, Oman, March 1997.
  • "Living with Insight," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Mombasa, Kenya, March 1997.
  • "Is the Universe a Computer Program?", College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio, October 1997.
  • "Nonstandard Set Theory, Zeno's Paradox and Rationality: What Does Mathematics Encode?" University of Maryland, October 1995.
  • "Quantum Cosmology and the Origin of the Cosmos," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Barcelona, Spain, September 1995.
  • "Mind and Nature," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Sorrento, Italy, September 1995.
  • "The Greek Origins of Philosophy, Science and Mathematics," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Athens, Greece, September 1995.
  • "Global Ethics," Cunard Distinguished World Univ. Lecture, Istanbul, Turkey, September 1995.
  • "Cloning, Ethics and the Law: a Response to Melinda Roberts," New Jersey Regional Philosophy Association, April 1995.
  • "The Church vs. Galileo," Felician College, April 1994.
  • "What Is a Philosophy Program?", Pace University, February 1994.
  • "A Free Lunch in a Clean, Well-Lighted Place: Quantum Genesis, the Anthropic Principle, and "Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?" WPUNJ, October 1994.
  • "Identification, Identity and Multiple Personality Disorder," WPUNJ, October 1992.
  • "What is Philosophy?" Union City Jr. High School, Union City, NJ, July 1992.
  • "The Mind in the Brain in the Vat," Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ, February 1992.
  • "Why Do We Exist?" and "The Meaning of Life," Cunard Distinguished World University Lecture, Southampton, England, June 1991.
  • "Logic, Reality and Wittgenstein," Trenton State College, Trenton, NJ, May 1991.
  • "Descartes, Knowledge and Reality: Implications of Cognitive Science," Warren Wilson College, N.C., May 1991.
  • "Personal Identity Matters," East Tennessee State University, January 1991.
  • "Against Values," University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, October 1990.
  • "Art and Identity: the Cosmos as Art," WPUNJ, October 1990.
  • "Cognitive Dissociation and the Boundaries of Self," University of Connecticut, Storrs, January 1990.
  • "Borders of Identity," California State University, Long Beach, February 1990.
  • "I Am You: Toward a New Theory of Personal Identity," City College of CUNY, March 1990.
  • "Borderline Selves," Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, March 1990.
  • "Art and Intentionality," Rutgers University, November 1989.

The Lovers of Wisdom website[edit]

Kolak's Lovers of Wisdom website was designed by former William Paterson University philosophy students. It contains further resources on numerous philosophers.

Selected books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dr. Daniel Kolak". wpunj.edu. 
  2. ^ "Famous Croatian American Philosopher Prof. Dr. Daniel Kolak". croatia.org. 
  3. ^ Kolak, Daniel (2004). I Am You: The Metaphysical Foundations for Global Ethics. (Volume 25 of the Synthese Library: Studies in Epistemology, Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science.). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Synthese Library, Springer. ISBN 1-4020-2999-3. 
  4. ^ Eklund, Matti; Kolak, Daniel (2002-06-01). "Is Hintikka's Logic First-Order?". Synthese. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers; Springer Netherlands. 131 (3): 371–388. doi:10.1023/A:1016184410627. ISSN 0039-7857. 
  5. ^ Kolak, Daniel; Symons, John (2004). "Forward and Acknowledgements (p. 1-2); The Results are in: The Scope and Import of Hintikka's Philosophy (p. 209-271)". In Kolak, Daniel; Symons, John. Quantifiers, Questions, and Quantum Physics: Essays on the Philosophy of Jaakko Hintikka. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. ISBN 978-1-4020-3210-3. 
  6. ^ "The Afterlife". SCI FI Investigates [TV Show]. Season 1 (Episode 4). 1 November 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2014.