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Coming Online and Onsite Events

Become a subscriber in the Community of Lifelong Learners for $40 per month for unlimited attendance at on-site and online events, or $25 per month for only ONLINE events. Subscribers are responsible for ordering their own books. One-day ONSITE seminar tuition is $125 per person for non-subscribers. Special events have differing tuition. Scholarships are available for teachers and students. Please inquire via email here.

Online Weekly Intensives

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

Plato on Love and Language - Three Dialogues

Gorgias, Symposium, Phaedrus

 

Thursday Evenings - July 11 - September 12, 2024

 

What does the love of speeches have to do with love simply?  Is there human love without language?  Does the language of love breed the love of language, or vice versa?  If the ability to evoke love by way of words is a power, is this power – to re-present things either as they are or (by playing a game of mimetic manipulation) to make them appear other than as they are -- the origin of politics?  And how does this power turn speech into action, rather as the sight of the beloved moves one to deeds of daring or desperation or devotion?  Why does the city, the polis, in which politics comes to be, seem to bring forth both the sophist and the philosopher, and why do they look alike to the city?  Plato’s Gorgias gives us a conversation between the two and raises a question about what they look like to the young one aspiring to the life of a citizen.  In the Symposium, fashionable citizens drink to love by speaking about it, and one wonders if love makes an appearance, perhaps only a cameo, and whether the conditions present in the conversation are ripe for its entrance.  Are love and speech coming together or flying apart?  In the Phaedrus, we go outside the walls of the city, to enact somehow, in a one-on-one conversation about love and writing, what the city seems to need within, if it is truly to be one: friendship -- upon the gentle ground of which love and speech may find a place to meet, if they can devote themselves to the love of wisdom. Can rhetoric (child of the goddess Persuasion?) find a happy home in the city after all?

 

Online seminars in this series will take place on Thursday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Attendees will be mailed the texts. Sessions will be facilitated by Eric Stull. Groups will be limited to 16 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 2 CEU credits for participating. This ten-week series is $600. Community of Lifelong Learner subscribers receive a discount of $50 through a refund. Payment options are available.

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

The Tale of Genji - by Murasaki Shikibu

 

Wednesday Evenings - September 4 - December 18, 2024

 

Written in the early 11th century by the noblewoman, poet, and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikoku, The Tale of Genji is considered the first classic novel and a masterpiece in Japanese literature. Much of the tale follows the life of the handsome and sensitive Genji - the son of the Emperor and a low-ranking concubine - with each of his loves described in great detail. Against the backdrop of the central story, the reader is delighted with images of refined court life, the beauty of nature and a wide array of human emotions. The Buddhist understanding of impermanence is also skillfully woven throughout the story in beautiful images. During this time in Japan, Chinese was the court’s scholarly language while Japanese was initially used by women and in personal accounts of life at court. Works written in Japanese and in prose were not taken seriously. All that changed with the creation The Tale of Genji.

 

Online seminars in this series will take place on Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Attendees will be mailed the text. Sessions will be facilitated by Roxana Zirakzadeh and Andy Gilman. Groups will be limited to 16 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 3 CEU credits for participating. This sixteen-week series is $950. Community of Lifelong Learner subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW ENROLLING

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

 

Thursday Evenings - September 19, 2024 - January 23, 2025

 

Why did the author of the matchless Middlemarch at last turn her pen to one of the most vexing questions of the late nineteenth century and of all European history?  England had not only abolished slavery, but had emancipated, to one degree or another, its religious minorities over the preceding decades, and at the time of the novel’s publication, had a Jewish prime minister, albeit one who had converted to Anglicanism in boyhood. The sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been expelled from England en masse in 1290, almost six centuries before -- two centuries before their fellow Jews were expelled from Spain. Enter Deronda, wherein that most ancient European grudge, writ not only large but general, rooted in the rootless fantasy of religious fallacy, underlies the unease of a growingly comfortable society made secure by the exploits of a maritime empire – as it comes into the ken of one of the most acute observers of human character and psyche ever to write English prose. 

 

Online seminars in this series will take place on Thursday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Attendees will be mailed the text. Sessions will be facilitated by Eric Stull and Dennis Gura. Groups will be limited to 16 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 3 CEU credits for participating. This sixteen-week series is $950. Community of Lifelong Learner subscribers receive a discount of $100 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

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Online Seminar Series - NOW MEETING

The Book of Numbers

 

Tuesday Evenings - May 7 - July 23, 2024

 

The Agora Foundation's online series on the books of the Old Testament / Torah will continue with The Book of Numbers. The overall initiative is expected to last three to four years, with attendees choosing which book offerings to participate in.

The Book of Numbers (from Greek Ἀριθμοί, Arithmoi, lit. 'numbers'; Biblical Hebrew: בְּמִדְבַּר,  Bəmīḏbar, lit. 'In [the] desert'; Latin: Liber Numeri) is the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah. The book has a long and complex history. The name of the book comes from the two censuses taken of the Israelites. Numbers begins at Mount Sinai, where the Israelites have received their laws and covenant from God and God has taken up residence among them in the sanctuary. The task before them is to take possession of the Promised Land.  

 

Online seminars in this series will take place on Tuesday evenings, 5:30-7:00PM Pacific Time. Attendees are encouraged to read their preferred translation of The Book of Numbers. Sessions will be facilitated by Dennis Gura. Groups will be limited to 14 participants and no prior knowledge is required. Teachers will be offered 2 CEU credits for participating. This nine-week series is $600. Community of Lifelong Learner subscribers receive a discount of $50 through a refund. Payment options are available. 

Click here for full details.

Free Community Series

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Free Onsite Community Seminar Series

The Glory of Art

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

What is Art? Why does it hold such a central position in humanity’s self-understanding? Art seems to have subjective, contingent, and relative aspects, while also evoking the eternal, essential, and radical. Art represents, communicates, explores, inspires, challenges, creates, and questions. This semi-monthly series, taking place the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Ojai Library, will explore the work of artists and thinkers through history.

 

Aristotle - “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”.

 

O’Keeffe - “To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”

 

da Vinci - “Art is the Queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all generations of the world.”

 

O’Connor - “Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.”

 

Picasso - “Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.” 

 

Klee - “Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.”

 

Brecht - “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.”

 

de Beauvoir - “Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom.”

 

Dostoevsky - “Art is as much a need for humanity as eating and drinking. The need for beauty and for creations that embody it is inseparable from humanity and without it man perhaps might not want to live on earth.” 

Works discussed will include selections from:

On Beauty by Plotinus


Books on Architecture by Vitruvius


– Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci 


The Arts and Crafts of Today by William Morris


The Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinski 


Towards a New Architecture by Le Corbusier


Some Memories of Drawings by Georgia O’Keefe 


Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin


– The Search for the Real by Hans Hoffman


Man the Musician by Victor Zuckerkandl


Image-making and the Freedom of Man by Hans Jonas


I Shock Myself by Beatrice Wood


Remote Control by Barbara Kruger

 

Click here to visit The Glory of Art Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

The July 9 reading is:

Hans Hoffman - The Search for the Real

also several Morris artworks will be shown

Schedule:
12:00 - 1:00PM PDT

Location:

The Ojai Library

111 East Ojai Avenue

Ojai, California 93023

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Free Online Community Seminar Series

The Foundations of Our Republic - The Federalist Papers Complete Series

Sunday, July 14, 2024

What are the fundamental principles of our Republic? Are these principles based on a view of objective reality/nature, or simply the "consent of the governed"? Depending on how one addresses the previous question: Are these principles changeable, and if so on what grounds? How should one read the founding documents? What authority does the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches have? What are rights? Are they based on nature or consent? Are they inalienable? Please join us as we explore these political works through monthly weekend meetings. 

Click here to visit The Federalist Papers Complete Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

The July 14 reading is:

Federalist Papers 25-28

Schedule:
12:00 - 2:00PM PDT

Readings in the series:
Complete Federalist Papers and selected Anti-Federalist Papers

Location:

Online. Register to receive the link.

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Free Onsite Community Seminar Series

Eastern Classics

The First and Third Tuesdays of each month

Next Session is July 16, 2024

Like the west, the east has its own tradition of influential texts that address the perennial questions of human kind. Centering around the bodies of work from China, Japan, and India, this series will focus on the texts of Taoism, Confucius, Buddhism, and Hinduism. We invite you to join us and attendees can feel free to join intermittently.

The July 16 reading is:
The Tao Te Ching - Chapters Eleven and Twelve

Click icon to download, or click here
for all chapters.

Schedule:
12:00 - 1:00PM PDT

Location: 

The Ojai Library

111 East Ojai Avenue

Ojai, California 93023

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Free Onsite Community Seminar Series

Modern Heroine Autobiographies
Tuesday, July 30, 2024

The genre of autobiography necessarily invokes difficulties of subjectivity. omission, and distortion. At the same time, what one chooses to write about oneself can also be highly illuminating. Nowhere will this tension, and treasure, better reveal itself than in the autobiography of the modern heroine. In addition to the fruitful knowledge any reader would gain from a male writer of historic note, the modern heroine is also a witness, and an inspiration, of the dramatic evolution of technology, equality, and gender politics of the 20th century. We invite you to join this onsite series, reading autobiographies about one month apart.

July 30 Reading:

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

Signet; Reprint edition (June 2010)

ISBN 978-0451531568

Or, click here to read the book online.

Readings in the Series:

The Story of my Life by Helen Keller - ISBN 978-0451531568

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - ISBN 978-0553577129

Art and Writing of Georgia O'Keeffe - ISBN 978-0140046779

Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir - ISBN 978-0060825195

The Fun of It by Amelia Earhart - ISBN 978-0915864553

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - ISBN 978-0345514400

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt - ISBN 978-0062355911

Schedule:

12:00-1:30PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location: 

The Ojai Library

111 East Ojai Avenue

Ojai, California 93023

Upcoming Regular Events

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Online Seminar Series

Epistemology of Spinoza

Thursday, July 11, 2024

What can we say we know with certainty? What does it mean to say that we know something? How does knowledge differ from belief? Can an exploration of basic philosophical questions, such as How do we know what we know? and What are the limits of our understanding? inform our thinking not just on intellectual issues, but on broader cultural challenges as well?

 

Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical Order, usually known as the Ethics, is a philosophical treatise written in Latin by Baruch Spinoza. It was written between 1661 and 1675 and was first published posthumously in 1677. The book is perhaps the most ambitious attempt to apply the method of Euclid in philosophy. Spinoza puts forward a small number of definitions and axioms from which he attempts to derive hundreds of propositions and 
corollaries, such as "When the Mind imagines its own lack of power, it is saddened by it", "A free man thinks of nothing less than of death", and "The human Mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the Body, but something of it remains which is eternal." Over ten
 afternoon online seminars, the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month, the series will cover:

January 25: Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect (pp. 233 to 262)

February 8: Ethics, Part I, Propositions 1-15 (pp. 31-43)

February 22: Ethics, Part I, Propositions 1-15 (pp. 31-43) continued

April 11: Ethics, Part I, Propositions 16-36 and Appendix (pp. 43-62)

April 25: Ethics, Part II (pp. 63-101)

May 9: Ethics, Part II, Pr. 40 to end; Part III, Pr. 1-13 (pp. 88-112)

May 23: Ethics, Part III, Pr. 14-49 (pp. 112-132)

June 13: Ethics, Part III, Pr. 50-end; Part IV, Pr. 1-7 (pp. 132-158)

June 27: Ethics, Part IV, Pr. 8-end (pp. 158-200)

July 11: Ethics, Part V (pp. 201-223)

Join us as we discuss these foundational works from Spinoza. This series continues a broader series on epistemology. All are welcome. Please join us even if this will be your first seminar in the series. 

Click here to visit the Epistemology Page.

July 11 Reading:

Ethics, Part V (pp. 201-223)

Ethics: with The Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and Selected Letters

Hackett Publishing Company (November 1992)
ISBN 978-0872201309

(This is the text for all the seminars in this series)

Schedule:

Thursdays, 12:00-1:30PM PDT

 

Tutor: 

Carol Seferi

Location: 

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt

Saturday, July 13, 2024

The Origins of Totalitarianism, published in 1951, was Hannah Arendt's first major work. The book strives to understand the causes and the mechanics of Nazism and Stalinism as the major totalitarian political movements of the 20th century. Regarded as one of the most important books of the last 100 years, Arendt warns that, “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.” We invite you to join us as we explore this entire book, meeting about once per month. 

July 13 Reading: 

The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt

Chapter Twelve - Totalitarianism in Power (pages 389-459)

Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich; First edition (March 1973)
ISBN 978-0-156-70153-2

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor: 

Andy Gilman

Location: 

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Let us leave theories there and return to here's hear.

 

Having done the longest day in literature with Ulysses (1922),  Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book - the night. "A nocturnal state... That is what I want to convey: what goes on in a dream, during a dream." Published in 1939, the book would take Joyce two decades to complete. 

 

A story with no real beginning or end, the work has come to assume a preeminent place in English literature. Anthony Burgess has lauded Finnegans Wake as "a great comic vision, one of the few books of the world that can make us laugh aloud on nearly every page". Harold Bloom has called it Joyce's  masterpiece, and, in The Western Canon (1994), wrote that "if aesthetic merit were ever again to center the canon, Finnegans Wake would be as close as our chaos could come to the heights of Shakespeare and Dante".

Join us as we read this text a few pages at a time, every other Wednesday afternoon. Click here to visit the Finnegans Wake Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

July 17 Reading:

Book Two - Chapter Two of Finnegans Wake by Joyce (page 260, Line 1), Penguin Classics; Reissue edition (December 1999). ISBN 9780141181264. Also, Chapter Ten of A Reader's Guide to Finnegans Wake by William Tindall. Syracuse University Press; Reprint edition (May 1996), ISBN 0815603851

Schedule:

12:30-2:00PM PDT

Tutor

Barry Rabe

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin

Saturday, July 20, 2024

 

In 1871 Charles Darwin published The Descent of Man, which applies evolutionary theory to human evolution, and details his theory of sexual selection, a form of biological adaptation distinct from, yet interconnected with, natural selection. The reception was mixed, with some concerned that “this book would unsettle our half educated classes and people will begin doing as they pleased, breaking laws and customs…” The text discusses many issues, including evolutionary psychology, evolutionary ethics, and the relevance of the evolutionary theory to society. We invite you to join us as we discuss this entire text, with readings about one month apart.

July 20 Reading:

The Descent of Man by Darwin - Part III - Chapters 19-20 
Sexual Selection in Relation to Man - pages 621-675

Penguin Classics Reprint Edition
(June 2004) - ISBN 978-0140436310

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Golden Bough by James Frazer

Sunday, July 21, 2024

“For myth changes while custom remains constant; men continue to do what their ancestors did before them, though the reasons on which their fathers acted have been long forgotten. The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.”

 

The Golden Bough - A Study in Magic and Religion is a wide-ranging investigation of mythology, religion, and ritual. First published in 1890 and greatly expanded in later editions, the book attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief and scientific thought, discussing fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat, and many other symbols and practices whose influences had extended into 20th-century culture. We invite you to join us as we discuss this entire abridged version, a few chapters at a time, with weekend seminars taking place about one month apart.

July 21 Reading:

The Golden Bough by James Frazer -

Chapters XXIII - Our Debt to the Savage, XIV - The Killing of the Divine King, XXV - Temporary Kings, XXVI - Sacrifice of the King's Son, XXVII - Succession to the Soul (pages 316-356)

Penguin Classics; Abridged edition (January 1998)

ISBN 978-0140189315

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

Saturday, July 27, 2024

“We must judge the tree by its fruit. The best fruits of the religious experience are the best things history has to offer. The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, and bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves, have all been flown for religious ideals.”

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by Harvard University psychologist and philosopher William James. It comprises his edited Gifford Lectures (20 in total) on natural theology, which were delivered at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland between 1901 and 1902. The lectures concern the psychological study of individual private religious experiences and mysticism, and use a range of examples to identify commonalities in religious experiences across traditions. James concludes that religion is overall beneficial to humankind, although acknowledges that this does not establish its truth. He also considers the possibility of over-beliefs, beliefs which are not strictly justified by reason but which might understandably be held by educated people nonetheless, and had relatively little interest in the legitimacy or illegitimacy of religious experiences. Join us as we work through these lectures, with online seminars taking place about one month apart. 

Click here to visit the Varieties of Religious Experience Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

 

July 27 Reading:

Lecture Twenty - Conclusions and Postscript

(pages 485-527)

The Varieties of Religious Experience 

Penguin Classics; Later Printing edition
(December 16, 1982) - ISBN 978-0140390346

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Contemporary Issues Seminar Series

The Gene - An Intimate History
by Siddhartha Muk
herjee (2017)

Sunday, July 28, 2024

 

This revived online series will inquire into contemporary issues of science, politics, culture, and economics, meeting once per month and covering 30-50 pages of a text per session. We kick off the series with a look into the history and current questions of genetics. The Gene: An Intimate History was written by Siddhartha Mukherjee, an Indian-born American physician and oncologist, published in 2017. The book chronicles the history of the gene and genetic research, all the way from Aristotle to Crick, Watson and Franklin and then the 21st century scientists who mapped the human genome. The book discusses the power of genetics in determining people's well-being and traits. It delves into the personal genetic history of Siddhartha Mukherjee's family, including mental illness. However, it is also a cautionary message toward not letting genetic predispositions define a person or their fate, a mentality that the author says led to the rise of eugenics in history. This series will span over ten monthly sessions on this book, and then turn to other contemporary subjects.

July 28 Reading:

The Gene - An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Part Four - The Proper Study of Mankind is Man - The Miseries of My Father; The Birth of a Clinic; Interfere, Interfere, Interfere; A Village of Dancers, an Atlas of Moles, To Get the Genome; The Geographers; The Book of Man (pages 253-326)

Scribner; Reprint edition (May 2017)
ISBN 978-1476733524

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Romantic I/Eye

Saturday, August 3, 2024

A pan-European and American phenomenon, Romanticism influenced Western notions about the individual as well as humans' relationship to nature. This series of online seminars addresses both themes through a variety of genres and nationalities, most of which texts are written in the first person. How did the Romantic Era shape the notion of what a subject is?  Does first-person writing, in seeming to explore the subject or the self, reveal it or make it more obscure? To what extent does the choice an author makes to portray an experience through the use of the first person affect that experience, and do these authors' texts coalesce into a coherent portrait of the Romantic period? Finally, how do these singular voices engage with nature, particularly under the looming shadow of the Industrial Revolution?

Readings in the Series (ISBNs and Posted PDFs will added soon):

Goethe — The Sorrows of Young Werther
Rousseau — Reveries of a Solitary Walker
Holderlin — Hyperion
Wordsworth — The Prelude (Two-Part 1799 version)
Chateaubriand — Rene, and Atala
Foscolo — The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis
Byron — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto One 
Hazlitt — On the Love of the Country, On Living to One's Self, and On Thought and Action
Müller/Schubert — Die Winterreise
Pushkin — Eugene Onegin 
Emerson — Nature, The Over-Soul, and Circles
Poe — The Landscape Garden, William Wilson, and The Fall of the House of Usher

Join us as we read explore these readings, with sessions about one month apart. Click here to visit The Romantic I/Eye Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

August 3 Reading:

Hazlitt — On the Love of the Country,
On Living to One's Self, and On Thought and Action

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutors

Jordan Hoffman and Eric Stull

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

The Laws by Plato

Sunday, August 4, 2024

“...there is simple ignorance, which is the source of lighter offenses, and double ignorance, which is accompanied by a conceit of wisdom; and he who is under the influence of the latter fancies that he knows all about matters of which he knows nothing.”

The Laws (Greek: Νόμοι, Nómoi; Latin: De Legibus) is Plato's last and longest dialogue. The conversation depicted in the work's twelve books begins with the question of who is given the credit for establishing a civilization's laws. Its musings on the ethics of government and law have established it as a classic of political philosophy alongside Plato's more widely read Republic. Scholars agree that Plato wrote this dialogue as an older person, having failed in his effort to guide the rule of the tyrant Dionysius I of Syracuse, instead having been thrown in prison. These events are alluded to in the Seventh Letter. The text is noteworthy as Plato's only undisputed dialogue not to feature Socrates. We invite you to join us as we read this often overlooked text, one section at a time, in monthly online events.

Click here to visit the Laws of Plato Online Seminar page, with links to media and the Discussion Forum.

 

August 4 Reading:

The Laws by Plato

Book 5 - Sections 8-9: General Preamble to the Legal Code

and The Foundations of the New State
(pages 141-173, 723e-747e)

Penguin Classics (June 2005)

ASIN ‏B01FIXK9JK

ISBN 9780140449846

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

David Appleby

Location: 

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Seminar Series

Transcendentalism 

Monday, August 5, 2024

 

"Humankind is surprised to find that things near are not less beautiful and wondrous than things remote. The near explains the far. The drop is a small ocean. A man is related to all nature."

 

Transcendentalism was a philosophical, spiritual, and literary movement that developed in the early 19th century in the northeastern United States. Deep beliefs in the goodness of nature, and of humanity as a part of that nature, were central expressions of the movement’s thinkers and writers. Self reliance, individualism, and divine encounter with everyday experience also characterized the transcendental spirit. A strong feature of American societal development, the approach generally embraced intuition over empiricism, and was cautious of progress that insulated the individual from dynamic, authentic experience. We invite you to join us for monthly Monday evening sessions (generally taking place the first Monday evening of each month), exploring the early, middle, and late thinking of the approach. Attendees need not participate in all of the sessions to benefit, as each reading will stand on its own. Authors in the series will include:

Jonathan Edwards

William Ellery Channing 

Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Henry David Thoreau 

Walt Whitman 

Margaret Fuller

Emily Dickinson

Frederick Douglas

Nathanial Hawthorne

August 5 Reading:

Nature - Part One - by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Introduction to III Beauty (pages 1-14)

Schedule:

5:30-7:00PM PDT

 

Tutors

Roxana Zirakzadeh and Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Contemporary Issues Seminar Series

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Saturday, August 10, 2024

“Nature has introduced great variety into the landscape, but man has displayed a passion for simplifying it. Thus he undoes the built-in checks and balances by which nature holds the species within bounds.”

Published in 1962 and named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time by the editors of Discover magazine, Silent Spring is an environmental science book by Rachel Carson. The book documents the environmental harm caused by the indiscriminate use of DDT. Carson accuses the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting the industry's marketing claims unquestioningly. The book was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, but it swayed public opinion and led to a reversal in U.S. pesticide policy, a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, and an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Join us as we read and discussion this foundational book, several chapters at a time, over monthly online seminars. 

 

August 10 Reading:

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

1. A Fable for Tomorrow, 2. The Obligation to Endure, 3. Elixirs of Death, 4. Surface Waters and Underground Seas

(pages 1-51)

Mariner Books Classics; Anniversary edition (February 2022)

ISBN 978-0618249060

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location: 

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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Online Contemporary Issues Seminar Series

The Imperative of Responsibility by Hans Jonas

Sunday, August 11, 2024

"Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life."

 

In this collection of essays, published in 1984, Hans Jonas rethinks the foundations of ethics in light of the awesome transformations wrought by modern technology: the threat of nuclear war, ecological ravage, genetic engineering, and so on. Though informed by a deep reverence for human life, Jonas's ethics is grounded not in religion but in metaphysics, in a secular doctrine that makes explicit man's duties toward himself, his posterity, and the environment. We invite you join this online series, reading each essay about one month apart.

August 11 Reading:

The Imperative if Responsibility by Hans Jonas

Chapter One - The Altered Nature of Human Action (pages 1-24)

University of Chicago Press (October 1985)

ISBN 978-0226405971

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

Quasicrystal1.jpg

Online Seminar Series

What is Life by Erwin Schrödinger

Saturday, August 17, 2024

"The great revelation of the quantum theory was that features of discreteness were discovered in the Book of Nature, in a context in which anything other than continuity seemed to be absurd according to the views held until then."

 

What Is Life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell is a 1944 book written for the lay science reader by physicist Erwin Schrödinger. The book is based on a course of public lectures delivered by Schrödinger in February 1943, which focused on one important question: "how can the events in space and time which take place within the spatial boundary of a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?" We invite you to join this monthly online series as we read this short but difficult book, one chapter at a time.

August 17 Reading:

What is Life by Schrödinger - Chapter 3 -
Mutations

Entire book: Cambridge University Press;
(March 26, 2012)

ISBN 978-1107604667

Schedule:

12:00-2:00PM PDT

 

Tutor

Andy Gilman

Location

Online. Register to receive the link. 

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