First Session of Plato’s Spiritual Academy: Reflections on Spiritual Phenomena from Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives

On February 19, 2023, the first session of the Plato’s Spiritual Academy was organized by the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute (TCCI), the Shanghai Mental Health Centre, and the Shanghai Library under the theme of “Reflections on Spiritual Phenomena from Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives.” Hundreds of participants attended the event at the East Branch of Shanghai Library and over 140,000 people watched the live stream of the event online.

“Plato’s Spiritual Academy” is an interdisciplinary exchange that integrates psychiatric research, philosophical discussion and the dissemination of popular science and humanities in the context of the general public’s concern for brain health. It is an academic sub-brand of the Socratic Lab, a TCCI-affiliated online community for brain science researchers.

The first dialogue examined and discussed mental illnesses from the perspective of human evolution. As the host, Professor Yifeng Xu from the Shanghai Mental Health Center introduced the original purpose and vision of organizing the event. Professor Xin Yu from the Peking University Sixth Hospital, Professor Guaning Lin, a researcher who works at both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Shanghai Mental Health Center, and Professor Sumei Cheng from the Institute of Philosophy of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences all participated in the discussion.