Event Series Merlin Read-In: Shop Class as Soulcraft

Reading Together: Shop Class as Soulcraft

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

In this philosophy read-in we'll explore Matthew Crawford's book Shop Class as Soulcraft.  Accessible and insightful, the book offers a critical assessment and argument for the value of the trades and working with one's hands. Join us for two weeks -- on Thursday nights from 6-8pm. Learn more & RSVP here.

How Did We Get Here?: Planet

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

In this installment of “How Did We Get Here?”, we’ll consider the intellectual history of the idea of “planet” with mathematician, physicist, and astrophysicist Kelly Cline. We'll start with the ancient Greeks, move to Copernicus, and then sashay into the 20th century. Along the way we'll learn about how scientific words and their definitions serve as a specific lens through which we can view the world. By scientifically defining words so that they most closely match real categories that exist in physical reality, this makes it easier for us to understand, investigate, and make sense of the universe. As such, this installment of HDWGH and the evolution of how we understand and use the word planet will give us important insights into the nature of science and the foundations of our modern civilization. Learn more & RSVP here.

Event Series Merlin Read-In: Shop Class as Soulcraft

Reading Together: Shop Class as Soulcraft

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

In this philosophy read-in we'll explore Matthew Crawford's book Shop Class as Soulcraft.  Accessible and insightful, the book offers a critical assessment and argument for the value of the trades and working with one's hands. Join us for two weeks -- on Thursday nights from 6-8pm. Learn more & RSVP here.

How Did We Get Here?: Freedom

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

In this installment of "How Did We Get Here?" with philosopher Ed Glowienka we'll consider something we all want, but can't agree on how to get: freedom. We'll explore the shift between classical and Enlightenment notions of political freedom and look at how reactions to this shift inform modern conservative and liberal values.  Along the way, we'll do a bunch of other stuff, too, and hopefully gain a deeper appreciation of why we value freedom and of the philosophical positions underlying contemporary debates. Learn more & RSVP here.

Short Reads: What’s Up to Us?

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

In this short reads session, we’ll begin with a general look at Epictetus’ statement "what's up to us?", and then step back to consider why this might be an accurate account of human life. Along the way, we'll consider some reflections on how this might shape our participation in the civic life of our communities. Learn more & RSVP here.

Short Reads: Consent & Consequences — A Conversation with the Laws

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

Our “Short Reads” evenings explore a focused philosophical argument or theme, by way of a short (4–6 page) paper.  During the evening, we’ll step through the paper together, using it as the focal point for a lively and interactive conversation. Learn more & RSVP here.

How Did We Get Here?: Labor & Work

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

We often take “labor” and “work” as synonyms, describing an often-difficult process that’s required to “get by” in life, or even to “make our living.” Yet there’s also a strong contrast between the demanding-yet-fulfilling “work” and drudgery, as well as other complicated dances between labor and leisure, work and recreation, action and contemplation, “liberal” and “servile” pursuits. These complications have been viewed very differently across the centuries. In this installment of "How Did We Get Here?" we'll explore this and then some! Learn more & RSVP here.

Short Reads: “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

Our “Short Reads” evenings explore a focused philosophical argument or theme, by way of a short (4–6 page) paper.  During the evening, we’ll step through the paper together, using it as the focal point for a lively and interactive conversation. Learn more & RSVP here.

Short Reads: Punishment & Penalties

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

Our “Short Reads” evenings explore a focused philosophical argument or theme, by way of a short (4–6 page) paper.  This month we'll be looking at punishment and penalties as conceived by Socrates and Polus. During the evening, we’ll step through our paper together, using it as the focal point for a lively and interactive conversation. Learn more & RSVP here.

Short Reads: “Seneca on Clemency, or Mercy”

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

Early in the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, his teacher Seneca composed a short treatise, addressed to the emperor, on the subject of mercy or clemency. While none of us is likely ever to be the sole ruler of the civilized world, we might find analogues to some of these concerns for people in other, lesser positions of authority. In this evening’s Short Reads session, we’ll examine Seneca’s account of mercy as a Stoic virtue: how it differs from vengeance, pity, and forgiveness, and how it’s closely related to the virtue of justice. And we’ll reflect on the profoundly unequal power dynamics inherent in Seneca’s theory of clemency. Learn more & RSVP here.

How Did We Get Here?: Free Will

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

Debates about “free will” crop up in a wide, wide variety of areas: In discussing law and punishment, we ask whether the defendant acted “of his own free will.”  In physics and metaphysics, we wonder whether the future is fully deterministic, or whether our choices might affect the course of things.  Theologians of various religious traditions ponder a variety of problems over how to reconcile human freedom with divine providence.  And researchers in neuroscience and the philosophy of mind worry over the legacy bequeathed to them from Descartes: how, if at all, can the mind even be connected to the body?  What, if anything, do these widely varied conversations in divergent fields have in common, besides the name “free will”?  By looking at the history of this much-contested concept in this month's session of "How Did We Get Here?", we can begin to peel back the layers! Learn more & RSVP here!

How Did We Get Here?: Religion – NO MORE SEATS AVAILABLE

Reeder's Alley Interpretive & Convention Center 101 Reeder's Alley, Helena, MT, United States

What is (a) religion? What are religions for? Whom are they for? And conversely, if someone is “spiritual but not religious” (or simply not religious), what exactly is it that they aren’t? In this evening’s program, we’ll explore some of the ways that the concept of “religion” has evolved and radically changed over time, along with the related concepts of spirituality and atheism. And we’ll consider some of the social, political, and historical factors which have spurred changes in dominant and popular notions of religion, without necessarily reducing the domain of religion to merely those other factors. Learn more & RSVP here!

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