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ITS Beyond the Keyboard: Jon Conley

09/15/10

Jon Conley, the Technology Consultant for the Carroll School of Management since 2008, has been at BC since 2004 when he was a graduate student in the Philosophy Department.

His passion for philosophy and his technical expertise has brought him to many locations outside Chestnut Hill, presenting at philosophical conferences around the world. In the last few years, he has become increasingly focused on the philosophical problems of art, technology, and truth.

Jon first became involved in these conferences during the Fall 2004 semester, when he presented a paper on the contemporary developments of Immanuel Kant’s theory of the Imperative at the Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran, Iran.  He also chaired a session on Kant’s influence in the philosophy of science at this conference, and had the opportunity to travel around the region, experiencing firsthand the hospitality of the Iranian people.  

Most of Jon’s undergraduate work focused on Philosophy of Science, specifically theories of space and time and the philosophical method of phenomenology, and the work of Martin Heidegger.  Heidegger’s philosophy of art, truth, and technology has provided a framework in which many of Jon’s presentations relating to the problematic of technology begin. 

The topics of the presentations included phenomenological and psychoanalytic interpretations of desire; Responsibility and the Other; Community and Death; and Technology, Art, and Truth.

The audiences of these conferences are University professors, graduate students, and those with backgrounds in philosophy.  Some audiences are more interdisciplinary and include performance artists, painters, photographers, etc.

Participating in these conferences has brought Jon around the world to locations including:

  • Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran, Iran
  • University of Nottingham, England
  • Catholic University of Portugal in Braga, Portugal
  • University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice, Italy

Jon was scheduled for a conference at the University of Essex, England, but couldn’t get there because of the volcanic ash from Iceland. He’s also scheduled to present at a conference at the University of Sydney, Australia and the Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (BBAW) in Berlin, Germany.

Jon has gained both philosophical and practical knowledge from his travels: “I’ve learned a lot of different things, some quite practical:  Don’t hike alone into the mountains of northern Iran at night…although you can experience a case of heat exhaustion during the day, it snows at the high altitudes of the mountains and one can easily freeze. 

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with people from nearly every region of the world.  While I have learned quite a bit from conference presentations, it has always been the interactions with individuals and cultures that has been the most fruitful.”