Philosophy Walk: On Courage

Most of us are inclined to praise courage in a variety of contexts, from soldiers and first responders going boldly into danger of death; to the moral courage of speaking out, at great personal cost, in the face of social injustice; to confidently facing the dangers and uncertainties of daily life. But taken as whole, what is courage? In this walk, we’ll unite conceptual analysis — figuring out what courage is, and what its value is — with practical reflection on cultivating courage as part of a flourishing human life. Learn more & RSVP here!

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Summer La Mesa

“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 Summer La Mesa will take place on Friday, August 9th, feature an authentic full-course Roman-inspired meal, and be hosted by Barry & Hetti Louise Ferst. Reserve your seats here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Social Contract

The theory of a “social contract” plays a crucial role in American history & in much of contemporary political theory. In this evening’s program led by community philosopher David Nowakowski, we’ll trace the main currents of this idea from early incarnations in the work of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, through influential 20th-century philosophers like Rawls, to the present. We’ll examine how historical circumstances shaped each thinker’s account & reflect on how those continue to reverberate in the present. Learn more & RSVP here!

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Philosophy Walk: On Travel

According to urban legend, some famous novelist (maybe Tolstoy or Dostoyevski?) once quipped that there are only two stories: “A stranger comes to town” and “Someone goes on a journey.” Regardless of who first said it, there’s something to the notion that travelling is essential, both to the ways we live, and to the stories we tell to help make sense of those lives. In this walk, we’ll explore some of the ways that travel can be a space of encounter, transformation, and meaning. Learn more & RSVP here!

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Philosophy Walk: On Regret

We’ve all had the experience of regretting a choice, an action, or a missed opportunity. Most of us have done things that we knew we’d regret, but we did them anyway. In this philosophy walk, we’ll be doing some conceptual analysis of the notion of regret. We’ll consider questions like: What do we mean by “regret”? Is it more of a judgment or intellectual activity, or is it more of an emotion, feeling, or passion? What’s the role of regret in human life? And more. We’ll draw from ancient thinkers like Aristotle and Seneca, and from some luminaries of English literature like Chaucer and Shakespeare and more! Learn more & RSVP here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Philosophy

In this evening’s program, we looked at some of the major ways in which the concept of philosophy has evolved over the centuries. In doing so, we traced some of the important ways in which philosophers have understood the subject-matter of their discipline. And we examined how, from very early on, philosophers have been especially self-conscious of the history of philosophy, in a way that is unique from other sciences. Access photos & resources here!

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Reading & Discussion Series: Exploring the Republic

Why is it worthwhile to act justly, even if we could “get away” with injustice? Doesn’t the successful thief or tyrant have a life that’s attractive and enviable? How does the kind of society that we live in shape our character, values, and attitudes as individuals? Is it even possible to be a healthy person, in a society that’s profoundingly sick and unbalanced? Over the winter and early spring, we’ll be exploring these and other main themes from Plato’s Republic. For 5 every-other-Wednesday sessions, we’ll balance our time and attention between close reading of Plato’s text, and considering the implications of Plato’s arguments for our own lives and times. Access resources here!

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How Did We Get Here?: Philosophy

In this evening’s program, we’ll look at some of the major ways in which the concept of philosophy has evolved over the centuries. In doing so, we’ll trace some of the important ways in which philosophers have understood the subject-matter of their discipline. And we’ll examine how, from very early on, philosophers have been especially self-conscious of the history of philosophy, in a way that is unique from other sciences. Learn more & RSVP here.

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