Bay Area Lectures by Piero Scaruffi
(An offshoot of my lectures on the History of Knowledge - Powerpoint presentations available)

Next Lecture: Click here


The Lectures (The date is the date of the premiere and it's in the day/month/year format)

(To request the Powerpoint presentations, see the page on my History of Knowledge)


Logos 1 - 22/3/2006 - "A Brief History of God" (Outline)
  • How the idea of the afterlife developed
  • Ancient gods in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, India, China, Greece, Rome
  • Evolution of Monotheism
  • Did "god" mean the same thing to different civilizations?
  • Why do humans believe in God?
  • Neural correlate of the mystical experience

Logos 2 - 5/4/2006 - "Islamic civilization" (Outline)
  • Pre-Islamic Arabia
  • The Arab empires
  • The Turko-Persian empires
  • Decline and fall
  • Renewal and Reformism
  • The Rise of the Quran
  • Western Integration
  • Cultural Psychology

Logos 3 - 19/4/2006 - "History of Slavery" (Outline)
  • Slavery and Religion
  • Slavery in the ancient world
  • Christianity, a religion for slaves
  • Islam and the birth of the international slave trade
  • The sugar economy and Christian slavery
  • Slave-trading kingdoms of Africa
  • The Atlantic slave trade
  • Abolition after one million years

Logos 4 - 03/05/2006 - "Women in History" (Outline)
  • The Mother Goddess
  • Agricultural society and male domination
  • The status of women in different societies (Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc).
  • Women in Western society: Age of cooperation
  • Women in Western society: Age of discrimination
  • Women in Western society: Age of imitation

Logos 5 - 17/05/2006 - "The Scientific and Industrial Revolutions" (Outline)
  • The world in the 16th century: Islam, India, China
  • Why did the scientific revolution happen in Europe?
  • Copernicus, Galileo, Newton
  • Origins of the industrial revolution
  • The chemical revolution
  • The electrical revolution
  • The USA
  • The age of the literal

Logos 6 - 31/05/2006 - "The Second Scientific and Industrial Revolution" (Outline)
  • The Biological revolution
  • The Electrical revolution
  • The Transport revolution
  • The Subatomic revolution
  • The Cosmological revolution
  • The Synthetic revolution
  • The Digital revolution
  • The Cognitive revolution
  • The Genetic revolution

Logos 7 - 14/06/2006 - "The origins of Writing, Poetry, Fiction and Theater" (Outline)
  • The origin of language and languages
  • The origin of writing and literature
  • Poetry and fiction in the ancient Near East
  • Shang China
  • The beginning of Indo-European literature and the Vedic language
  • The alphabet: Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew
  • Poetry and theater in ancient Greece
  • Sanskrit literature
  • Han China

Logos 8 - 28/06/2006 - "New Arts of the 20th Century" (Outline)
  • Comics
  • Cinema
  • Popular music from the vaudeville to rock
  • Skyscrapers
  • TV Shows
  • Videogames

Logos 10 - 23/08/2006 - "Geopolitics of the modern Middle East" (Outline)
  • Decolonization of the Arab world
  • Israel
  • Iran
  • Terrorism

Logos 11 - 25/03/2007 - "Comparing India, China and the West" (Outline)
  • The Dravidians
  • Buddhist Art
  • Hindu Art
  • Modern India
  • India, China and the West

Logos 11 - xx/xx/2007 - "China: A Cultural, Artistic and Political History"
  • Shang China
  • Confucius, Taoism, Buddhism
  • Han China
  • Tang China
  • Song China
  • Ming China
  • The Manchus
  • Revolutions: From Sun Yatsen to Mao Dze Dong to Deng Xiao Ping
  • China as a world superpower

Logos 11 - xx/xx/2006 - Literature from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment
  • The age of theatre
  • Poetry before romanticism
  • The birth of the novel
  • Rabelais
  • Cervantes
  • Shakespeare
  • Moliere
  • etc...

Logos 12 - xx/xx/2006 - Western Empires
  • Roman Empire
  • Austrian Empire
  • Ottoman Empire
  • British Empire
  • The Soviet Union
  • The USA

Logos 13- xx/xx/2006 - "Cities of the Renaissance"
  • Athens, Alexandria, Roma, Constantinople, Xian, Baghdad, Firenze 1300, Paris, Amsterdam 1650, Manchester 1830, London, Berlin, New York, Silicon Valley 1970, Shanghai 2010. Five centers of scientific and artistic renaissance in different regions of the world. What they had in common and how they shaped the modern mind.

Logos 14 - xx/xx/2006 - "Why the USA is not an empire."
  • Another history of the USA
  • Comparison with the empires of the past.
  • Similarity between the USA and Athens in 400 BC and Venice/Florence in the Rinascimento
  • The future of the USA.

Logos 15 - xx/xx/2006 - "Public Opinion from the French salons to Al Jazeera"

Logos 16 - xx/xx/2006 - "The Enlightenment in France: the birth of public opinion"
  • The concept of public opinion was born in the "salons" of Paris. The press, the Gesuits, the philosophes and many others had to come together to cause the intellectual revolution that would lead to the American, French, Russian and Chinese revolutions. The main casualty was religion.
  • The USA Revolution
  • The French Revolution
  • Nationalism
  • Marxism

Logos nn - xx/xx/2006 - 20th Century Music: The Age of the Soundscape
  • The classical avantgarde from Debussy to Varese
  • Pop music (vaudeville, musical, Tin Pan Alley, chansonniers,...)
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Cool jazz and Bebop
  • The Electronic Avantgarde (Cage, Stockhausen, Boulez, etc)
  • Rock
  • Free jazz
  • Progressive and psychedelic rock
  • Hip hop
  • Post-modernist classical music
  • Electronica

Logos nn - xx/xx/2006 - Theories of Consciousness

Next Lecture: "China"

2007 schedule (day/month/year)
TBA - "China: A Cultural, Artistic and Political History"
TBA - "A History of the USA, from colony to superpower"
These are free lectures organized by Piero Scaruffi.
What: History, Science and Philosophy. See below for the full list.
Where: They are held in the Peninsula, conveniently located halfway between San Francisco and the Silicon Valley.
When: Every other wednesday from 7pm till 10pm. They can be repeated upon request if there is enough critical mass. They can also be repeated anywhere else if someone offers a venue and an audience.
Why: The audience benefits both from my presentation (see my credentials below) and from the discussion. I benefit because i need feedback (see below).
How: E-mail me if you are interested in attending. (A brief introduction is welcome: background, education, age group, job, interests, whatever).
Who: I am an author and lecturer. I have published many books and lectured in three continents. I have also traveled in more than 100 countries. I consider myself a historian, although most of my readers know me as a cognitive scientist. See this page for my research. And see the last class i taught at U.C. Berkeley Ext: A History of Knowledge The lectures i have in mind are an extension of that class. I am currently working on several projects. I have severed ties with the academia (my fault, i never kept in touch) and i need an audience to rehearse what i am writing (generally speaking, a history of knowledge).