Philosophy Workshop: “Transformative Experiences”

Some experiences in life are so significant, so profound, so intense, that after we go through them, there’s a very real sense in which “we’re not the same person we used to be.” That might involve a change in how we understand ourselves or the world, or in what we value or take to be important. In this workshop, we developed some basic concepts and categories, that might help us make sense of these transformative experiences. We also pointed toward some of the bigger philosophical questions that are lurking behind the problem of transformative experience, including rational choice, personal identity, and freedom & the Good. Access the session recording & other resources here!

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Philosophy Workshop: The Philosophy of Evil (October 2020)

In this2½-hour ZOOM philosophy workshop led by philosopher David Nowakowski, we investigated the philosophy of evil — both at the level of abstract concepts, and at the level of practical, everyday action. Access resources and reading recommendations here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Stoicism – Ethics & Providence (April 2020)

In these two 2½-hour ZOOM workshops led by philosopher David Nowakowski we investigated Stoic ethics, providence and the world. These two workshops represented our first ZOOM workshops of the year (or ever for that matter — ZOOM was new to us as we typically hold in-person workshops). However, we were grateful to have so many workshop attendees join us and participate in the conversation! See what sorts of things we discussed and access the workshop handouts, activities, and reading recommendations here!

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Neuroscience: A New Model for Punishment & Reform?

In this article of the Atlantic, neuroscientist and author, David Eagleman, examines our criminal-justice system and the brain and advocates for a more “biologically-informed jurisprudence.”  Why?  “Acts cannot be understood separately from the biology of the actors, says Engelman, ” and this recognition has legal implications.” This (among other obvious…

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Bringing Existentialism Home

Existentialism is a term that was explicitly adopted by Jean-Paul Sartre to refer to his philosophical work, but became identified with a larger cultural & philosophical movement that flourished in Europe in mid-20th century.  As an interesting sidebar, there are also some 19th philosophers who are referred to as existentialists,…

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The Philosophical Knight – Søren Kierkegaard

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard is oft regarded as a satirical, romantic iconoclast. Unlike many philosophers of his era, his prose was lyrical and poetic and the use of pseudonyms, paradox and irony were among his trademarks. Kierkegaard’s works explored such things as personal identity, duty, freedom, objective & subjective truths,…

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A Healthy Side of Negative Emotions

Merlin | A Healthy Side of Negative Emotions | Photo Credit: dratata.com

There is no doubt that positive emotions are worth cultivating. But must we be upbeat all of the time? Is there a healthy side of negative emotions and some value in experiencing them? Many philosophers (Schopenhauer comes to mind here) argue that embracing the full range of our emotions (including…

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