Thursday, April 8, 2010

Off to Indiana

I fly off to Indiana today to attend the Undergraduate Ethics Symposium, sponsored by the Prindle Institute for Ethics, at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. This is my second year participating in this wonderful event.

Undergraduates from all around the country submit work on ethical themes, this year focusing in particular on "self-interest, altruism, and morality: evolutionary, religious, and philosphical perspectives." Some thirty students are selected to participate, all expenses paid. Three visiting scholars are invited to the symposium, each to lead one seminar group of ten students and to present a paper on the conference theme to the group.

The symposium is held in the Prindle Institute's beautiful retreat center, overlooking an abandoned quarry that is now a wildlife reserve. It's a quiet, meditative space, constructed all of natural materials - wood and stone. Just being there for two days is part of the treat.

Best, I'm the visiting scholar who has been asked to lead the "creative" seminar, rather than one of the two "analytic" seminars. I'll be working with students who submitted short stories, poems, plays, and personal essays that examine some ethical issue or theme. I so love when I can combine my love of philosophy and my love of creative writing, and here is the absolutely perfect opportunity.

Add that two beloved former grad students, and one beloved friend from my own grad school days, now teach at DePauw. Prediction: this is going to be a magical weekend.

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