Do We Have Souls? – Nov 7

DO WE HAVE SOULS?
Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross

Thursday, Nov. 7, 4:00 – 5:15 pm

Gottesman Library, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th St.
(bet. Broadway and Amsterdam Ave. North side of 120th Street.)

(#1 train to 116th St.)
(Note Change)  Second floor lounge
Please bring a photo ID required for entry to the building.
RSVP to GrossAssoc@aol.com to reserve a place and at meetup http://www.meetup.com/Conversations-New-York/events/148213942/

There will be a display of relevant books. Light refreshments will be available.
Coffee and other beverages available downstairs as you enter the building.

Does each of us have an enduring core as a person, irreducible to our physical beings, and the source of some of our most valued capabilities? The belief that we do, has been held by most human beings throughout the ages and in virtually every culture. But that belief has dwindled among a great many people in Western Europe and America.

Now, some leading scientists and religious thinkers are bringing it back. What do you think? We will explore how emerging insights relate to our own convictions, feelings, and questions.

For example, some evolutionary biologists are speculating that a person’s soul is the information in his or her DNA. Others working in humanistic traditions, like Joseph Campbell, Scott Peck, and Harry Moody, have delineated stages of spiritual growth through which they contend that our souls develop. Here at Columbia, the idea of a “distributed soul” which inheres in relationships between people, rather than within each individual, has been proposed by Prof. Robert Pollack of the Center for the Study of Science and Religion.

We will explore the many different ways in which the word Soul is used, ranging from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of best-selling self-help books, to referring to the “souls” of nations or organizations or even technologies*, to using the term “Great Souls” to describe outstanding people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

Please join us to share your views on questions and issues such as:

Ø Is the idea that we have souls meaningful in your own philosophy of life?

Ø Does your heritage (religious/cultural/ethnic) have a concept of “souls” that is important to you? (Almost all do.)

Ø How do you feel about the idea of “seeking one’s soul-mate”?

Ø Do you believe that the spirits of loved ones who’ve passed away, endure somehow?

Ø Does the way you live your life, and the key decisions you make, form your soul? Do we have souls which change for better or worse in the course of our lives? Can some ways of working or living, corrode your soul?

Suggested Reading or Viewing (optional): Do We Have Souls?, by Tim O’Connor, at https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/print/180
Ghost in the Machine: Is There a Soul?, on Youtube at

The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations Into the Existence of the Soul, Edited by Mark C. Baker and Stewart Goetz
The Five Stages of the Soul: Charting the Spiritual Passages That Shape Our Lives, by Harry R., Moody and David Carroll.

*”Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.” Steve Jobs, founder of Apple.

Advertisements

Cosmopolitanism: What Does It Mean to be a Citizen of the World? – Nov 11

The University Seminar on Innovation in Education 
and
The University Seminar on Ethics, Moral Education, and Society
Present
 
 

Cosmopolitanism:

What Does It Mean to be a Citizen of the World?

 
Speaker: Prof. David Hansen,
John L. & Sue Ann Weinberg Professor  in the  Historical & Philosophical Foundations of Education,
Teachers College, Columbia, and author, THE TEACHER AND THE WORLD:  A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education
 

               Monday, November 11, 2013,  7:00-9:00 pm

Gottesman Library, Teachers College, Room 305 Russell Hall
525 West 120th St., bet. Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.; 116th street stop on the #1 train
(NOT at Faculty House!)
Please bring this invitation and a photo ID for admission to the building.
RSVP to reserve a place.

In recent years, the ancient and perennial idea of Cosmopolitanism has been reanimated by scholars in both the social sciences and humanities – including one of our former guest speakers, Kwame Appiah.  They discern in the idea, ways in which people today can respond creatively to rapid social, political, cultural, and economic transformations.
This outlook has deep philosophical roots  —  from Socrates and the 5th century Greek Stoics who coined the term to declare that they were “citizens of the world,” through the universalist ambitions of the great monotheistic religions, to philosophers like Immanuel Kant, and in our day Levinas, Derrida, Appiah, Nussbaum, Barber, Bok, Sen, and Walzer.
In his book The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education,  David T. Hansen,  the John L. & Sue Ann Weinberg Professor in the  Historical & Philosophical Foundations of Education, proposes that a Cosmopolitan-minded orientation can empower us to address both the challenges and opportunities of our era.
Prof. Hansen provides us with “ideas that can help us do our work and hold true to our values in the face of all the pressures of globalization which bear down hard on teachers everywhere.”  He observes critically that “globalization” reduces humankind to  “human capital” and “emphasizes economic life over the rest of human life” with a premium on production.

Hansen’s vision is to help us all to  learn to deal with changes creatively and responsively rather than in a reactive way, and “to make the world today a place of learning.”

Dinner: To augment the fellowship among members this year, you are warmly invited to join other members for dinner at Faculty House at 5:30 PM, after which we will walk to  Teachers College for the Seminar, as indicated above.  Dinner at Faculty House, a varied and ample  buffet (including wine), is $25, which must be paid for by check made out to Columbia University with “dinner” and Seminar 511 noted in the memo line.  We will collect checks at the beginning of the meal. If you intend to join us for dinner you must let us know via email a week in advance.
Faculty House is located on Columbia University’s East Campus on Morningside Drive, north of 116th Street.  Enter Wien Courtyard through the gates on 116 Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive. Walk toward the north end of the courtyard, then turn right toward Morningside Drive.  Faculty House will be the last building on the right.  PLEASE BRING A PHOTO ID FOR ADMITTANCE TO THE BUILDING.
BACKGROUND: This seminar is jointly sponsored by the Columbia University Seminars on Innovation in Education, and on Ethics, Moral Education, and Society.
The Seminar on Innovation in Education is co-chaired by Ronald Gross, who also conducts the Socratic Conversations at the Gottesman Libraries, and Robert McClintock who is John L. and Sue Ann Weinberg Professor Emeritus in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Teachers College. Founded in 1970, the Seminar explores the process of learning in individuals, organizations, and society throughout the lifespan and via major institutions.
,The Seminar on Ethics, Moral Educationand Society, chaired by Michael Schulman,  brings together scholars from psychology, philosophy, sociology, political theory, education, religion and other disciplines to explore issues in ethics, moral education, moral development, moral motivation, moral decision making and related topics.
    Upcoming 2013-14 seminar dates: Dec 9 on Global Obama,  Jan 27 on The Power of Conversation,  no Feb, Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5.
Columbia University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.  University Seminar participants with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may contact the Office of Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or disability@columbia.edu.  Disability accommodations, including sign-language interpreters, are available on request.  Requests for accommodations must be made two weeks in advance.  On campus, seminar participants with disabilities should alert a Public Safety Officer that they need assistance accessing campus.
    _________________________________________________________________
    Michael Schulman, chair, Ethics, Moral Education, and Society, mdschlmn41@yahoo.com

Ron Gross, co-chair, Innovation in Education, grossassoc@aol.com

COSMOPOLITANISM: What Does It Mean to be a Citizen of the World? – Oct 24

Just a final reminder — no changes in the arrangements:

Cosmopolitanism:

What Does It Mean to be a Citizen of the World?

Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross


Thursday, 10/24, 4-5:15pm
(United Nations Day)

Gottesman Library, 525 West 120th St., Room 104b
(inside Library, way in the back — NOT on 2nd floor as usual)

RSVP at http://www.meetup.com/Conversations-New-York/events/143590872/

There will be a display of relevant books.
Light refreshments will be available. Coffee is available for purchase in the Cafe as you enter the building
Please be sure to bring a photo ID for entrance to the building.

What Does It Mean to be a “Citizen of the World”…

* Morally,

* Economically,

* Politically,

* Culturally/Artistically

* Ecologically

* Linguistically, and….

* _______________?!

Increasingly, we are tending to think of ourselves and our circumstances in global terms. The outlook is driven by emergent political/technological conditions, such as:

  • the perils to the planet as a whole,
  • telecommunications and the Internet,
  • global institutions such as agencies of the UN, WTO, and transnational corporations (“Globalization”),
  • the revelations of genetic biology about our shared humanity,
  • the interpenetration of nationalities, ethnicities, languages, and the arts (Multi-culturalism),
  • internationalization of our languages with borrowings from one to another (“blog”, etc.)
  • trans-cultural ways of thinking, planning, and problem-solving such as Design Thinking and Comprehensive Design

But this outlook has deep philosophical roots -from the 5th century Greek Stoics, through universalist ambitions of the great monotheistic religions, to philosophers like Immanuel Kant, and in our day Levinas, Derrida, and Appiah. As Socrates declared famously: “I am a proud citizen of Athens, and a determined defender of Hellas – but I am also a citizen of the world.”

Cosmopolitanism is the classic term for the conviction or ideal that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality, economic relationship, or political structure. We’ll explore the ways in which each of US thinks of himself or herself in Cosmopolitan terms, the forces that are strengthening this outlook, and the benefits and perils (Will Globalization eat your job?).

Suggested readings (optional): The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education, David Hansen (Routledge, 2011); Cosmopolitanism, Kwame Appiah (Norton, 2006)

Next conversation: Thursday, 11/7, Topic to be announced.

Inspired by Socrates’ famous conversations with his friends in the marketplace of 5th century Athens, we engage in spirited discussions of ideas and issues. Socratic conversations range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life. They are informed by the latest literature for reference and follow up. While building a sense of community on campus, these meetings enliven the intellectual atmosphere and model dialogue and discussion as modes of inquiry. They are part of a year long series of Socratic Conversations hosted by the Gottesman Libraries.

These highly-participatory conversations are moderated by Ronald Gross, author of Socrates’ Way and Co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education.

Cosmopolitanism: What Does It Mean to be a Citizen of the World? Oct 24

Cosmopolitanism:
What Does It Mean to be a Citizen of the World?


Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross,


Thursday, 10/24, 4-5:15pm
(United Nations Day)

Gottesman Library, 525 West 120th St., Room 104b
(inside Library, way in the back — NOT 2nd floor as usual)

There will be a display of relevant books.
Light refreshments will be available. Coffee is available for purchase in the Cafe as you enter the building
Please be sure to bring a photo ID for entrance to the building.

RSVP to GrossAssoc

and at meetup.com
http://www.meetup.com/Conversations-New-York/events/143590872/

What Does It Mean to be a "Citizen of the World"…

* Morally,

* Economically,

* Politically,

* Culturally/Artistically

* Ecologically

* Linguistically, and….

* _______________?!

Increasingly, we are tending to think of ourselves and our circumstances in global terms. The outlook is driven by emergent political/technological conditions, such as:

  • the perils to the planet as a whole,
  • telecommunications and the Internet,
  • global institutions such as agencies of the UN, WTO, and transnational corporations ("Globalization"),
  • the revelations of genetic biology about our shared humanity,
  • the interpenetration of nationalities, ethnicities, languages, and the arts (Multi-culturalism),
  • internationalization of our languages with borrowings from one to another ("blog", etc.)
  • trans-cultural ways of thinking, planning, and problem-solving such as Design Thinking and Comprehensive Design

But this outlook has deep philosophical roots -from the 5th century Greek Stoics, through universalist ambitions of the great monotheistic religions, to philosophers like Immanuel Kant, and in our day Levinas, Derrida, and Appiah. As Socrates declared famously: "I am a proud citizen of Athens, and a determined defender of Hellas – but I am also a citizen of the world."

Cosmopolitanism is the classic term for the conviction or ideal that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality, economic relationship, or political structure. We’ll explore the ways in which each of US thinks of himself or herself in Cosmopolitan terms, the forces that are strengthening this outlook, and the benefits and perils (Will Globalization eat your job?).

Suggested readings (optional): The Teacher and the World: A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education, David Hansen (Routledge, 2011); Cosmopolitanism, Kwame Appiah (Norton, 2006)

Next conversation: Thursday, 11/7, Topic TBA

Inspired by Socrates’ famous conversations with his friends in the marketplace of 5th century Athens, we engage in spirited discussions of ideas and issues. Socratic conversations range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life. They are informed by the latest literature for reference and follow up. While building a sense of community on campus, these meetings enliven the intellectual atmosphere and model dialogue and discussion as modes of inquiry. They are part of a year long series of Socratic Conversations hosted by the Gottesman Libraries.

These highly-participatory conversations are moderated by Ronald Gross, author of Socrates’ Way and Co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education.