Many of us take for granted a clear divide between the animate and inanimate. For instance: I am alive, but the chair I sit in is not. My dog is probably alive, as is the oak tree just outside my window. I am somewhat less certain about grass. Or viruses. What does this distinction between the living and nonliving mean to us? Why do we care so deeply about finding a firm line between the two? What might we discover about our world, our own assumptions, and our own ethical action if we are willing to question these categories? Many cultures and peoples throughout the world have never bothered to make such clean distinctions, and even in our contemporary western culture, a movement of philosophers has been challenging this divide from within. In this ZOOM workshop led by philosophers Henry Kramer & David Nowakowski, we explored the philosophy of animism – an orientation toward the world where everything is encountered as meaningfully alive. Access the video and other resources here!
In these two 2½-hour ZOOM workshops led by philosopher David Nowakowski we investigated Stoic ethics, providence and the world. These two workshops represented our first ZOOM workshops of the year (or ever for that matter — ZOOM was new to us as we typically hold in-person workshops). However, we were grateful to have so many workshop attendees join us and participate in the conversation! See what sorts of things we discussed and access the workshop handouts, activities, and reading recommendations here!
This American Philosophical Association blog by Jeremy David Bendik-Keymer (inspired in large part by an interview with artist Misty Morrison on her exhibit “Oblivion”) offers some deeply reflective and inspiring insights about the importance of COMMUNITY to philosophical communities and their various expressions.
To announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s fundraiser block party due to the challenges we are all facing with COVID-19. While we wish it weren’t the case, we believe it’s the right thing to do, all things considered. Additionally, we hope that this decision allows event sponsors to redirect their contributions to organizations offering direct services for our community members most in need and health care providers on the front lines.
Once the parameters of our current health crisis situation become more clear, our goal (if possible) is to host a smaller-scale event later this year in Reeder’s Alley honoring each and every one of you and the sacrifices that you are making to try and keep our city running and people safe, near and far. Stay tuned for more information about this and please save the date for the 2021 Reeder’s Alley Block Party on Saturday, June 12th 2021.
“What Say You?” is a fun and casual internet-based philosophy in the community activity inspired by our belief that physical distancing need not equate to social distancing. Each week philosopher Dr. Barry Ferst will share some of his philosophical musings on our Merlin Facebook page and invite readers to comment and discuss. Think SNL’s “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy”….only with somewhat more gravity (maybe).