Date & Time: Nov 1 2010 - 7:00pm
Location: Stone Creek - 140 E 27th St. (3/Lex)
Host: ROGER SMITH
Subject: Thomas Hobbes and the long intellectual shadow he cast
Please join us as we listen to a recorded lecture from the Teaching Company (by Professor Alan Kors) about Thomas Hobbes. While Hobbes had few followers and is currently known primarily for his political writings such as The Leviathan, few realize that he established stances on a wide variety of non-political issues that strongly influenced those who came after him. For instance, materialism, the world is simply matter in motion. What about free will—there is none, instead we are driven by pain avoidance and pleasure seeking that we misconstrue as free choices. He also thought of reasoning as merely ‘computation’ long before there were such things as computers. He developed empiricist views (all knowledge comes to us through the senses) in opposing Cartesian and Aristotelian alternatives. In short, he originated many ideas that atheists might find appealing (at least on the surface) and so understanding his views is important for enabling us to recognize them when they appear in modern dress (such as in computation theories of the mind), an to realize their long heritage and staying power.
The outline for the lecture can be found in the files section of this meet-up group and links are provided to background reading material in order of difficulty. Easiest first.
There are no prerequisites other than a willingness to be exposed to challenging ideas and engage in civil discourse with the other attendees.
LOCATION: Stone Creek - 140 E 27th St. (3/Lex)
COST: Remember: you must be a member to attend (though you can sign up for membership on the evening of the lecture, so come on down).