2015 Visiting Scholar Recipients


Karin Arndt
Duquesne University

Examined the lived experience of solitary retreat, characterized by silence and simplicity, in the lives of women from a range of backgrounds and contemplative traditions. Drew from the traditions of existential-phenomenology (especially the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty), ecopsychology, monasticism, and feminism to interpret data from nine women’s retreat journals.

Nate Chopoorian
Brown University

Investigated the relationship between anticipatory beliefs, assumptions, and expectations about meditation and religiosity affecting neuropsychological outcomes associated with meditative practice. Engaged in a thorough epistemological background check using the Beliefs about Meditation Scale and the Spiritual Perspective Scale to gauge the connection between spiritual perspectives and beliefs about meditation with the overall affective and neuropsychological benefit that novice meditators receive.

Denis Francesconi
University of Trento, Italy

Expanded work on a book manuscript directed to the educational community. It offers a pedagogical reflection on integrating meditation in educational settings, based on the same ideas that guided Francisco Varela in his effort to build a new path for cognitive sciences, the embodied cognitive sciences.

Crystal L’Hote
Saint Michael’s College

Continued work on a book project entitled The Neuroscientist’s Dilemma, which engages topics in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and cognitive neuroscience. Its aim is to clarify the explanatory limits of cognitive neuroscience by calling attention to a persisting methodological problem.

Patricia Morgan
University of New South Wales, Australia

Adapted research from a recently completed PhD project into a book manuscript, a philosophical examination of college students’ first-person experience of learning through contemplation. By arguing that the subjective and pre-predicative experiences of the students in the study were not ineffable — ineffability being one of the most frequently cited reasons for the exclusion of these states in education — it challenges the marginalization of subjective contemplative states of consciousness in mainstream education.

William Rubel
University of British Columbia, Canada

Continued study of romantic poetry for PhD project, which suggests that the Romantics made a vital contribution to the western tradition, and drafted an article on this topic suitable for publication. The project at large seeks to advance an embodied, recessive, ecocentric alternative that unbinds or relaxes the epistemic violence of the ontologically anxious discursive center.