Individual Presentation:
• Jon Mills: The Evil that Men Do: The Inevitability of Prejudice (60 min)

Abstract: Throughout this presentation, I will endeavor to introduce a speculative account of the future of humanity based on a discernable pattern of violence and exploitation of the Other that characterizes human motivation and deed. I shall be concerned with a narrow scope of questions that investigate whether our pathological propensities as a human race will likely bring about our extinction, or whether we can transmogrify our destructive impulses through the relational negotiation of collective valuation practices that transcend our more primal constitutions.

Will the fate of civilization succumb to sordid desire inspiring our demise, or will human accord triumph in the end?  The real issue involves: To what degree will the will toward violence be sublimated into the higher tiers of self-conscious ethical reflection that reason can afford?   We are a world divided by race, religion, ethnicity, economics, politics, and culture, where strong emotional bonds fuel and sustain separation and difference among our communities.  I do not wish to express platitudes, illusory ideals, or provide false hope — the evidence, the brute facticity of impoverishment, suffering, cruelty, and murder — points to the most archaic configurations of psychic development that permeate our valuation practices.  When collective identity is so firmly established in bipolar relation to the Other, is it possible for such valuation practices to abate under the rubric of peace?  Prejudice, hate, and violence are no more likely to disappear than the reality of the external world, therefore the question becomes one of amelioration.

Bio: Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and clinical psychologist.  He is Honorary Professor, Department of Psychosocial & Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK, on Faculty in the Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Adelphi University, USA, and on Faculty and is a Supervising Analyst at the New School for Existential Psychoanalysis, USA.  Recipient of numerous awards for his scholarship including 5 Gradiva Awards, he is the author and/or editor of over 30 books in psychoanalysis, philosophy, psychology, and cultural studies. In 2015 he was given the Otto Weininger Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Canadian Psychological Association.

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