Frankenstein: Evil, Morality & Phronesis

Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein is a ubiquitous feature of popular culture, continuously adapted and revisited. Dr. Raymond Boisvert, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, argues that Frankenstein endures because of its sophisticated treatment of morality. Victor, a brilliant thinker who sees science as a means of transcending natural limits, creates life (Frankenstein’s “monster”) only to demean and abandon his creation. But Boisvert argues that Victor is a complex figure — neither inherently evil, nor the product of a corrupt or evil society. Instead Victor’s failings can better be understood by examining two different ethical models: Evil as Absence & Evil as Banal.

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The Moral Dimensions of Homelessness: Special Topic Philosophy Discussions

In light of the rise in concern about homelessness in Helena, we are dedicating our August and September Think & Drink sessions [as well as our September Think & Drink (squared) session] to discuss the moral dimensions of homelessness.

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May 2018 Philosophy Think & Drink (squared)

Our May Think & Drink (squared) was good fun. We enjoyed a wonderful discussion about morality & law led by Merlin advisory committee member & volunteer, Ryan Aikin. Click here to view what articles we read to prepare for our philosophical discussion and some other resources!

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The Value of Studying Philosophy

In an older (but not outdated) article in the Atlantic,  Hope Reese interviews Rebecca Newberger Goldstein — philosopher and author of Plato at the Googleplex — who discusses the value of studying philosophy and why it is critical to our lives.  From helping us increase our humanity to becoming responsible…

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The Impact of Surveillance on Moral Growth

Does surveillance contribute or detract from our moral growth?  Alfred University Professor of Philosophy Emrys Westacott discusses the complicated relationship between surveillance and moral edification by exploring the following questions: What is the impact of ubiquitous surveillance on our moral character? How might the advent of a surveillance society affect…

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Eulogy Virtues: Cultivating an Inner Light

Merlin MCC | Cultivating an Inner Light

Living a virtuous life involves much more than what’s included on a resume.  It involves cultivation of a particular sort — a striving for and obtaining of what David Brooks — New York Times columnist and author — refers to as ‘eulogy virtues.’  In a heartfelt discussion about the sorts…

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Facts, Opinions & Moral Truths

What does it mean for something to be a fact? What about an opinion?  And how do either (or both) of these relate to morality and value claims or moral truths?  Justin P. McBrayer, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fort Lewis College, provides a fascinating (albeit troubling) look at how…

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