Philosophy Workshop: “Myth in Philosophy”

This workshop explored the role of myth within philosophy, the life dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom. What kinds of myths are there? When & how can myths be used effectively and appropriately? What does it mean to engage with myth in a specifically philosophical mode? How do mythic modes of understanding enrich, complement, or complete other ways of thinking and knowing, like the logical or analytical? Access resources & photos here!

Continue reading

How Did We Get Here?: Empathy

In this first installment of our new “How Did We Get Here?” series led by 2nd-year Student Scholar Fellow, Julianna Breit, we considered the intellectual history and lineage of the concept of empathy. Access resources & photos here.

Continue reading

Philosophy Workshop: “How to Meditate with a Text”

For thousands of years, people seeking after wisdom have approached important texts as invitations for meditation, whose treasures can be uncovered through careful, deliberate practices of attention. In this workshop, we explored some of these techniques, combining practical instruction with reflections on the theoretical and conceptual background needed to make sense of the practices. Access photos & resources here!

Continue reading

Philosophy Workshop: “Beyond Mindfulness – Western Meditation Techniques in Theory & Practice”

In this workshop, we explored several techniques of meditation with deep roots in Western spiritual, religious, and philosophical life and practice.  We examined two daily practices, popular among the ancient Pythagoreans and Stoics, for developing the power of recollection and preparing ourselves for challenging circumstances.  And we considered more broadly the ways in which meditative practices can help us to develop our powers of attention, concentration, clarity, and discernment.  Learn more & access resources here!

Continue reading

Philosophy Workshop: Grief as Self-Discovery

In this workshop designed and led by Merlin Student Scholar Fellow Julianna Breit, we offered a framework for acknowledging and understanding grief’s role in our lives through the lens of philosophy. Access resources & photos here.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

Community Workshop: “Thinking About Place”

Gertrude Stein’s “there is no there there” has been used as a description for placeless spaces.  By contrast, place has some kind of “there” going on.  But what is this?  What exactly is “place”?  There are lots of ways to think about it.  In this workshop, we reflected upon Helena’s sense of “place” in terms of our urban outdoors. Learn more & access resources here!

Continue reading

Philosophy Workshop: “Beyond Mindfulness – Western Meditation Techniques in Theory & Practice”

In this workshop led by David Nowakowski, we explored three techniques of meditation with deep roots in Western spiritual, religious, and philosophical life and practice. We began with two simple exercises, popular among the ancient Pythagoreans and Stoics, for developing the power of recollection and preparing ourselves for challenging circumstances. Then we turned to a practice known as “discursive meditation.” Learn more & access resources here!

Continue reading