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Beyond Materialism and Reductionism

Laszlo Zsolnai gave a keynote presentation entitled “Beyond Materialism and Reductionism” at the Awakened Campus Global Conference from November 29-30, 2022 at Columbia University.

Zsolnai argued that most of today’s social practices are based on strong materialist and reductionist assumptions. He showed that spiritually informed social practices can lead to better and more satisfying results than the materialist and reductionist models associated with current mainstream practices. Zsolnai called for whole-person education – that is, educating the spirit, the mind, and the body of students in higher education to go beyond materialism and reductionism in their future professional lives.

Zsolnai emphasized that a spiritual shift is needed in business education because today it is focusing on the scientific/technical aspect of problems and mostly neglects all the other important aspects of life (the systemic/ecological, the interpersonal/social, and the existential/spiritual).