We are grateful by the support shown to us in 2023 by the American Philosophical Association Berry Fund for Public Philosophy! Because of their $1,000 award, we were able to launch a new series called “How Did We Get here?” (as part of our philosophy shorts program). Learn more about the series and what award funds helped to support here!
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!
In this workshop led by philosopher and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel & General Inspector of the Montana National Guard Charles Phillips we’ll explore what it might look like and mean to strive for (and achieve) excellence (as a virtue) in war. This gathering will involve discussion, hands-on activities, and plenty of time for Q & A. Learn more & RVP here.
We often talk about showing mercy or forgiving those who have harmed us as something noble, praiseworthy, perhaps even necessary or required in order to behave well. But this has by no means always been the case: the ancient Romans, for example, often saw the bestowal of mercy or clemency as a sign of tyranny and despotism, and they had some good reasons for doing so. By taking some historical perspective on these issues, in this walk we’ll aim to deepen our own understanding of the scope, limits, benefits, and dangers of mercy, clemency, and forgiveness. Learn more & RSVP here!
Myths—inspired stories which relate “things which never happened at any particular time, but which always are,” in one ancient author’s memorable phrase—have played an important role in wisdom traditions around the world. But the role of myth is often woefully misunderstood in our contemporary society, where myths are seen as mere fiction, falsehood, or silly stories that “other people” tell who are “too ignorant to do science,” the way “we” do. In this two-part series, we’ll try to recover a richer, more robust understanding of myth, with the help of some Platonist philosophers of the 3rd-5th centuries, who defended and explained mythic modes of knowing for an age, much like ours, in which elite opinion scorned traditional myths. Learn more & RSVP here.