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The categories under which the contributions of main speakers and presenters have been grouped in these Proceedings of the Fourth World Conference highlight many of the central concerns for inquisitive thinkers at the present time.

Specifically, we observe the need among our contemporaries to engage in reflection on transcendent or universal realities not as an end in itself, but with a view towards formulating human goals and  understanding human conduct in everyday life. Indeed, if comprehension is necessary for informed and intelligent behavior, then we can even speak of “applied metaphysics”, inasmuch as our vision of humanity conditions our choices and methods.

Accordingly, we find main speakers dealing with the implications of our metaphysical approach for the process of the development of all peoples; for a definition of the person which will promote the fullest realization of human potential; and for a profound understanding of all experience, ranging from the mystical life of conscious union with the Absolute to the concreteness of ordinary cognition.

Similarly, the presentations also include consideration of the educational and therapeutic consequences of the paradigms we adopt, along with their ethical and juridical ramifications. Moreover, this Conference, like its predecessors, has attracted papers dealing with the areas of knowledge where metaphysics enters into contact with the realms of logic, mathematics, and the philosophy of science. This interface is particularly important from a human standpoint, since it allows theologians and students of comparative mysticism, for example, to hear and be heard by specialists in theoretical or applied sciences who may rarely have occasion to share the same venues. In fact, the interdisciplinary nature of these encounters is a key to reviving fundamental thought at the inception of this third millennium.



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