Our 2023 philosophy symposia series looks at what it means to be at the interface of loss and legacy. In Spring, we examined the question “How do we think about grief?” during our symposium (held at the Helena Avenue Theater on April 19th) and considered the business of death by way of a film & community conversation (conducted in Reeder’s Alley on May 3rd). Access resources & watch the audio-video recording here!
In this installment of “How Did We Get Here?” with philosopher Ed Glowienka we considered something we all want, but can’t agree on how to get: freedom. We explored the shift between classical and Enlightenment notions of political freedom and looked at how reactions to this shift inform modern conservative and liberal values. Along the way, we did a bunch of other stuff, too, and hopefully gained a deeper appreciation of why we value freedom and of the philosophical positions underlying contemporary debates. Access photos & more here!
Most of us have the basic intuition that, because the truth “always is what it is”then there shouldn’t really be different “kinds” of knowing: we either know, or we don’t know, and that’s that. Knowledge, like truth, should be objective and invariable. Yet many of us also have another intuition: sometimes, there really does seem to be “something different” about knowing, or about acquiring knowledge, in different ways. In this workshop we applied some traditional tools, along with our own careful analytic skill, to see what we could salvage from both intuitions. We identified, as best we can, what each intuition gets right, as well as how they fit together in a coherent way. Critically, we learned to appreciate the difference between knowing, as an activity that we do, and knowledge, as a thing that we have. Access resources here!
We had a wonderful time at the Lewis & Clark Library with guest scholar Christopher Preston. Our evening involved a blend of author readings & community discussion. Over the course of our gathering, Christopher shared insights and perspectives about the people and wildlife he encountered while researching species recoveries. His encounters with whales, wolves, sea otters, and bison – as well as the scientists that study them – suggest that better ways to think about animals are close at hand. View more here!
In his Handbook, the Stoic philosopher Epictetus tells us that “the appropriate actions for us to do are usually measured out for us by our relations.” Epictetus suggests that we can see how to act fittingly in any given situation, based on how we are related to the other people involved, whether as family members, friends, fellow citizens, enemies, or in whatever other way. In this reading & discussion, we used some extended quotations from Simplicius’ commentary as a springboard for reflecting on friendship, and on the appropriate actions that arise from our relationships more generally. Access resources here!
Our Food for Thought fundraiser is a limited capacity event with dinner and beverages, entertainment & thought-provoking table talks led by guest scholars. We have a great line-up with some amazing thinkers, each of whom offer a diverse range of perspectives. Learn more & see what they’ll be talking about here!