July 2019 Philosophy Walk: Virtue & Hope

Our group enjoyed fantastic weather and a lovely hike up Dump Gulch Trail on our July Philosophy Walk.   Led by philosopher-on-trail David Nowakowski, we explored the life of virtue and hope…and a range of related questions that arose in the process of this informal, free-flowing discussion, including:

  • What does “virtue” even mean?
  • What kinds of things might we consider to be virtues? 
  • How might our limits contribute to virtue and opportunity?
  • When, if at all, should we classify hope as a virtue?
  • What should we hope for, and when is it right or wrong to have hope?
  • And more…

A journey that provoked more questions than answers (as philosophy often does)…this walk aimed to provide our group with a rich template for deep and ongoing reflection on our lives and values, and a space for stimulating and fruitful conversation.


About Our Walk Guide

David Nowakowski, PhD serves as a Philosophical Advisor & Senior Fellow Mentor and Advisor for Merlin CCC.  A lover of philosophy and the great outdoors, David began studying ancient philosophies and classical languages in 2001, and has continued ever since.  A scholar of the philosophical traditions of the ancient Mediterranean (Greece, Rome, and North Africa) and of the Indian subcontinent, reading Sanskrit, Latin, and classical Greek, he earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University in 2014.  His work has appeared in a variety of scholarly journals, including Philosophy East & WestAsian Philosophy, and theJournal of Indian Philosophy; as well as in presentations to academic audiences at Harvard, Columbia University, the University of Toronto, Yale-NUS College in Singapore, and elsewhere.  After half a decade teaching at liberal arts colleges in the northeast, David chose to leave the academy in order to focus his energies on the transformative value of these ancient philosophical and spiritual traditions in his own life and practice, and on building new systems of education and community learning that will make this rich heritage alive and available to people of all ages and backgrounds.  A hermit by nature and by committed choice, he balances contemplative solitude with his active work in teaching, counseling, and the healing arts.  We are elated to be collaborating with David on our philosophy in the community activities, fellowships, and other Merlin projects. 

Thank You’s

Thank you to P.L.A.T.O. (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization), Montana Internet, BWP Helena Great Northern Hotel, and the American Philosophical Association for helping support our philosophy in the community programs and making events like this possible!  Thank you to our Guest Speaker/Philosopher-on-Trail David Nowakowski.

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