Winter La Mesa – NO MORE SEATS AT THE TABLE/FULL

“Las Mesas” are intimate, salon-style gatherings where friends come together to explore philosophy and ideas over hand-crafted meals & wine. Each season, a different community member(s) will host a “La Mesa” dinner at their house, opening up their home for community members to gather and enjoy the fun of philosophy, the beauty of rich and meaningful conversation, and the joy of good food & friends (old and new). Our Winter La Mesa will take place on Friday, March 8th and will be hosted by Marie Z. Bourgeois & Ross P. Nelson. Reserve your seats here!

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Film & Philosophy Night: Why It’s OK to Love Bad Movies

Come join us for a fun night of film, philosophy, and community at the “W” in the Holter Museum of Art w/ cinematic bottom-feeder & philosopher Matt Strohl.  We’ll consider films like Troll 2, The Room, Batman & Robin, Twilight, The Requin, and more and see if these so-called “bad movies” might actually be key ingredients to a fulfilling aesthetic life. Event from 6:30pm-8:30pm. Cash bar & mingling starting @ 6pm. Learn more & RSVP here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Free Will

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”? Access more here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Labor & Work

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 explored this and then some! Access resources here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Freedom

In this installment of “How Did We Get Here?” with philosopher Ed Glowienka we considered something we all want, but can’t agree on how to get: freedom. We explored the shift between classical and Enlightenment notions of political freedom and looked at how reactions to this shift inform modern conservative and liberal values. Along the way, we did a bunch of other stuff, too, and hopefully gained a deeper appreciation of why we value freedom and of the philosophical positions underlying contemporary debates. Access photos & more here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Planet

In this installment of “How Did We Get Here?”, we considered the intellectual history of “planet” with mathematician, physicist, and astrophysicist Kelly Cline. We started with the ancient Greeks, moved to Copernicus, and then sashayed into the 20th century. Along the way we learned 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 gave us important insights into the nature of science and the foundations of our modern civilization. Access photos & more here.

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How Did We Get Here?: Species

In this installment of “How Did We Get Here?”, we considered the idea of “species,” from Plato and Aristotle, through the Middle Ages, to Charles Darwin (of course!), and down to the present. Along the way, we gained some insights into the role of ideas and abstraction in western scientific thought, reflect on the search for stability in a changing world, and cultivated a deeper appreciation for the ways that we, and our predecessors, strive to classify and categorize — both in the natural world, and in human society and culture. Access resources & photos here.

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