Workshop Series: Reading Myths Philosophically

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

Myths—inspired stories which relate “things which never happened at any particular time, but which always are,” in one ancient author’s memorable phrase—have played an important role in wisdom traditions around the world. But the role of myth is often woefully misunderstood in our contemporary society, where myths are seen as mere fiction, falsehood, or silly stories that “other people” tell who are “too ignorant to do science,” the way “we” do. In this two-part series, we’ll try to recover a richer, more robust understanding of myth, with the help of some Platonist philosophers of the 3rd-5th centuries, who defended and explained mythic modes of knowing for an age, much like ours, in which elite opinion scorned traditional myths. Learn more & RSVP here.

Workshop Series: Reading Myths Philosophically (Session 2)

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

Myths—inspired stories which relate “things which never happened at any particular time, but which always are,” in one ancient author’s memorable phrase—have played an important role in wisdom traditions around the world. But the role of myth is often woefully misunderstood in our contemporary society, where myths are seen as mere fiction, falsehood, or silly stories that “other people” tell who are “too ignorant to do science,” the way “we” do. In this two-part series, we’ll try to recover a richer, more robust understanding of myth, with the help of some Platonist philosophers of the 3rd-5th centuries, who defended and explained mythic modes of knowing for an age, much like ours, in which elite opinion scorned traditional myths. 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.

Philosophy Think & Drink

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

Our Think & Drink gatherings are monthly (dojo) sessions that consist of a “meeting of the minds” over libations. An open mind & desire to engage in thoughtful dialogue (whether from a listening or contribution standpoint) is all that’s needed! Learn more here!

Loss & Legacy (Symposium): How Do We Think About Our Ancestors?

Helena Avenue Theater 1319 Helena Avenue, Helena, MT, United States

In this symposium featuring Bill Milton, Ellen Baumler & Daniel Gardiner, and facilitated by David Nowakowski, we'll consider different kinds of ancestry and lineage, extending beyond just family ties, to include our teachers and predecessors in the arts we practice, in our professional lives, and in our nation or other groups and organizations of which we’re a part.  We'll ask the overarching question "How do we think about our ancestors?" in the context of legacy and the conversational space we participate in between the past and present.  FREE & open to all, our symposium will be held at the Helena Avenue Theater from 6pm-9pm on Thursday, October 19th.  SPACE IS LIMITED.  Learn more about our guest scholars and RSVP here!

Philosophy Walk: Mercy & Forgiveness

Mount Helena Trailhead Helena, MT, United States

We often talk about showing mercy or forgiving those who have harmed us as something noble, praiseworthy, perhaps even necessary or required in order to behave well. But this has by no means always been the case: the ancient Romans, for example, often saw the bestowal of mercy or clemency as a sign of tyranny and despotism, and they had some good reasons for doing so. By taking some historical perspective on these issues, in this walk we’ll aim to deepen our own understanding of the scope, limits, benefits, and dangers of mercy, clemency, and forgiveness. Learn more & RSVP here!

Loss & Legacy (Film & Conversation): Ancestors in Service

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

In this final installment of our loss & legacy series we’ll reflect upon our military and the ways in which we think about ancestors in service, as prompted by the WW1 memorial film “They Shall Not Grow Old.” Our film & community conversation will be held on Thursday, November 2nd from 6pm-8:30pm in Reeder’s Alley Convention Center and facilitated by community philosopher David Nowakowski. Water & hot tea provided. Bring a low-profile comfy lawn camping chair for the film if you'd like.  We'll also have regular fold-out chairs available.  FREE and open to all members of the community. SPACE IS LIMITED.  RSVP & watch the film trailer here!

Philosophy Think & Drink

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

Our Think & Drink gatherings are monthly (dojo) sessions that consist of a “meeting of the minds” over libations. An open mind & desire to engage in thoughtful dialogue (whether from a listening or contribution standpoint) is all that’s needed! Learn more 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!

GivingTuesday 2023

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Imagine a world where thoughtful dialogue & community co-exist. Where differing perspectives break bread. Where understanding, truth, and wisdom is a goal. Imagine you live in that world, that city, that neighborhood, that community. Be part of that vision. Invest in that community. Support philosophy on GivingTuesday.

Philosophy Think & Drink

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

Our Think & Drink gatherings are monthly (dojo) sessions that consist of a “meeting of the minds” over libations. An open mind & desire to engage in thoughtful dialogue (whether from a listening or contribution standpoint) is all that’s needed! Learn more 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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