In the second installment of “Athens to Aspen,” participants will explore six paired themes — perennial human themes which have shaped our world — as they have been taken up from Athens to Aspen from the ancient period to our contemporary age. Each of the following themes will receive three sessions of discussion with texts drawn from different genres and different periods of human experience: ancient, medieval/renaissance, modern, and post-modern:
Tragedy and Death (October – December 2013)
Authors: Seneca and Montaigne; Nietzsche and Shakespeare; Strauss
Truth and Knowledge (January 2014 – March 2014)
Authors: Plato and Lucretius; Bacon and Descartes; Derrida and Stoppard
History and Transcendence (April – June 2014)
Authors: Plotinus and Augustine; Kant and Hegel; Eliot and Ortega y Gasset
In some cases we will be considering entire texts (including painting and opera); in other cases we will be looking closely at judiciously-selected excerpts. In all cases, we will strive to:
- Understand the text on its own terms
- Put the texts in conversation with one another
- Reflect on the meaning of each text for how we might understand our own world and live responsibly in it.
The authors and themes are daunting, but together we have an opportunity to revisit prominent authors in the Western intellectual tradition, while also spending some time with less familiar authors and texts.
“Athens to Aspen” will be moderated by Dr. Todd Breyfogle, director of seminars at the Aspen Institute, and will be joined by a rotating cadre of trained moderators from within the group.
Fee: $225 includes all sessions, reading materials and refreshments. Scholarships are available.
In the second installment of ‘Athens to Aspen’, participants will explore six paired themes—perennial human themes which have shaped our world—as they have been taken up from Athens to Aspen, that is, from the ancient period to our contemporary age.