Spring ’17 Faculty Dinner Talks

Tuesday, February 14th: “The Origins of the Big Bang” by  Prof. Karl van Bibber (UC Berkeley – Nuclear Physics) Tuesday, March 7th:  “Citizenship and the Limits of Empathy” by Prof. Kathleen Peterson (UC Davis – English) Tuesday, April 18th: “The Fate of Beauty in...

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The Metaphysics of Goodness

How might assuming the best help us understand the world? According to Gottfried Leibniz, the world is most rationally explained by assuming that all things are ordered with an eye towards what is good and even best. Things happen for a good reason—not only human...

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The Problem of Identity

We often talk about identity to get at questions about being ourselves–who am I, what am I, and what makes me this person I am? But when we start to press these questions, we can find it hard to capture the most basic experiences of selfhood–the values, intuitions,...

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What Christianity Offers the University

What Christianity Offers the Secular University What place do assumptions that are distinctly religious have in the contemporary, secular academy?  Often, when people are asking this question, they want to know whether there might be some conflict between being a...

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Fall ’16 Faculty Dinner Talks

Monday, September 26th: "The Devotional Life of Animals" by Prof. Joanna Picciotto (UC-Berkeley - English) Thursday, October 20th: "What is Liberal Education and Why Does It Matter?" by Dr. Peter Berkowitz (Stanford University) Monday, November 14th: "The Christian...

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The Character of Work

The Character of Work: Finding Meaning in Your Vocation The relationship between our professional lives and moral identities is by all accounts conflicted.  We are unsure how much personal fulfillment our work should provide.  We are unsure whether our jobs ought to...

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Freedom of Thought

Reading List: Matthew Crawford "The World Outside Your Head" Alasdair MacIntyre, "Intolerance, Censorship and Other Requirements of Rationality." Henry Frankfurt, "On Bullshit." Michael Oakeshott, "The Voice of Liberal Learning" Josef Pieper, "Leisure: A Theory of...

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Plato’s Ethics for Beginners

Plato’s Ethics for Beginners Plato’s moral thought is foundational for Western culture. He attempted, controversially, to ground morality in human reason, rather than custom, superstition, or sentiment. This seminar will introduce some of Plato’s basic...

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Conversions

Conversions This seminar will focus on questions surrounding the phenomenon of conversion, which is a radical shift in viewpoint.  How can we ever come to occupy a perspective radically different from the one we currently hold?  Does this happen as the result of a...

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2016 Graduate Conference

Difficult Discourse: Searching for a Critical Generosity Berkeley Institute Graduate Conference February 26th and 27th, 2016 315 and 330 Wheeler Hall UC Berkeley The question of this year’s conference touches the heart of our intellectual work and our personal...

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Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor

Matthew Rose Director & Senior Fellow, Berkeley Institute Dates: Thursdays on 7.7, 7.14, 7.28 Time: 5:30-7:30 PM Reading schedule: 7/7: “The Nature and Aims of Fiction”; “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” 7/14: “The Grotesque in Southern Fiction”; “A Good Man is...

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