Enduring Questions

WITH DR. MICHAEL MCSHANE

A series of seven classes on the questions of our time, in which we seek answers in literature from the ancient to the modern world.

We live in a terribly philosophical time. Questions that were once merely academic are now of pressing public urgency. In the aftermath of recent social, political and juridical events, for instance, many are thinking now again about soul, mind and body. This course is apolitical; it will attempt to deepen our understanding of perennial questions through a look at some classic writers, including Greek philosophers and tragedians, as well as more modern and contemporary thinkers.

Here are some questions we may engage:

  • What is the soul?
  • What is the body?
  • What is the mind?
  • Are minds gendered? Are bodies?
  • Can artificial intelligence achieve consciousness?
  • Can the mind or soul transcend or even survive the body?

Dates & Times: First & Third Wednesdays, 6:00-8:00 PM

  • September 7 Mind, Marriage, and Harmony: Hesiod, Homer, and Pythagoras
  • September 21  Tragedies of Mind and Body Divided: Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers
  • October 5 –  Immortality of the Soul: Plato’s Phaedo
  • October 19 –  Mind over Matter: Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Books 1 and 10
  • November 2Mind-Body Dualism: René Descartes’s Discourse on Method
  • November 16Machine Consciousness: Alan Turing’s “Turing Test”, John Searle’s Chinese Room thought experiment, & Thomas Nagel’s What Is It Like to Be a Bat?
  • December 7 – Race, Gender and Mind-Body Liberation: W.E.B Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk & Luce Irigaray’s “This Sex Which is Not One”

VIEW THE SYLLABUS FOR ENDURING QUESTIONS

Cost: $160 (Members Only)

Venue: The Dallas Institute’s Stroud House

Space is limited. Sign up now to reserve your spot!

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Registrants can download the readings for Enduring Questions as PDFs via the link below:

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