Philosophy Drive-In/Symposium: “The Rougher Side of Humor: How Far is too Far?”

In this combo symposium-drive-in night led by San Diego State University professor of philosophy J Angelo Corlett, we’ll have a free-wheeling discussion about contemporary humor, looking at some of comedy’s most beloved (and oft controversial) greats, focusing primarily on the work of Dave Chapelle. Learn more & RSVP here!

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Philosophy Workshop: “Thinking About Place”

Gertrude Stein’s “there is no there there” has been used as a description for placeless spaces. But what exactly is “place”? There are lots of ways to think about it. In this workshop led by Dennis McCahon we’ll be thinking about “place” in terms of our urban outdoors. When we get that Helena “sense of place” out there, what’s going on? What are we sensing? Is it urban design — deliberate “place-making” on somebody’s part? Is it a lucky accident? Something else? If it’s a mix of those, what’s the ratio? When can urban design be called “place-making” at all? This is an unruly bunch of questions. Unruly questions, though, can be fun, and even if they don’t lead to a hard-set definition, they can, in the case of Helena’s urban outdoors, lead to something useful — a shared, or at least better clarified and articulated vision and use of a Helena-specific, vocabulary and frame of reference — a basis, maybe, for practical understanding. Learn more, download the preparatory material & RSVP here!

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“Philosophy In & By the Community”: Merlin & Helena Community Members featured in Vernon Press Anthology

A 2021 Vernon Press anthology series edited by Stephen Kekoa Miller featuring eight chapters about doing philosophy in innovative ways, both in the schools and the community at large. In our chapter, “Philosophy In & By the Community,” we explore how Merlin CCC — with the help & support of community — has taken shape in interesting, delightful, and unexpected ways.  In the process, we discuss our approach to philosophy, the kind of work we do, and some of its characteristics…as well as the significance & beauty of community & place. Learn more here!

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Philosophy Workshop Series: “What is Philosophy?” (The Basics)

To celebrate the new year, we kicked off our 2021 workshop series by looking at the questions: “What is philosophy? What does it involve, what does it do, and why should we care?” For this first ZOOM workshop led by philosopher David Nowakowski, we surveyed several approaches to the question, “What is philosophy?”, each of which raised its own further questions for reflection and discussion. We also took a quick tour of the major areas or divisions of philosophy, as they developed in Greece, India, and elsewhere. Access resources and reading recommendations here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Exploring Issues of Race (December 2020)

In this 2½-hour ZOOM philosophy workshop led by philosophers Julia Jorati & Desiree Valentine, we explored and discussed historical and contemporary issues of race. Access resources here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Indian & Tibetan Buddhist Skepticism

In this2½-hour ZOOM philosophy workshop led by philosopher David Nowakowski, we investigated Indian & Tibetan Buddhist Skepticism, especially the works of Nāgārjuna. Access resources and reading recommendations here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Greek Skepticism (November 2020)

In this2½-hour ZOOM philosophy workshop led by philosopher David Nowakowski, we investigated Greek Skepticism, especially the works of Sextus Empiricus. Access resources and reading recommendations here!

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Hayride-Cemetery Walks: Pumpkins, Ghosts & Cemeteries

We were pumped to team up with Johnson’s Nursery & Gardens, Forestvale Cemetery, and historian Ellen Baumler for some fun days of pumpkin picking and hayride ghost story cemetery tours. After playing at Johnson’s Nursery & Gardens, folks loaded into our hayride wagon and took a ride down the road with us to Forestvale Cemetery, where heard ghost stories, wandered the cemetery grounds, and learned more about its residents and history! Check out the video and photos here!

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