Lectures start promptly at 7:30PM and are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month September 2022 through December 13, 2022.   Our meetings are held at the Olive Garden, 9079 Vantage Point Drive, Dallas, TX 75243 (972) 234-3292,   Zoom access will also be available. 

9-13-2022  Make Philosophy: an Open Educational Resources Project to Bring Philosophy to Life

Eli B. Shupe, Ph.D. , Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Humanities, UT Arlington

Dr. Eli Shupe (University of Texas at Arlington) is the Director of Make Philosophy, an open educational resources project scheduled to launch in Fall 2022. Make Philosophy is a repository of games, objects, design files, and lesson plans intended to bring academic philosophy to life in the classroom environment. Each Make Philosophy module focuses on a particular thought experiment or philosophical problem and makes use of physical objects with which students can interact as they learn.  Dr. Shupe will join us to discuss the pedagogical research behind the Make Philosophy project, her collaborations with colleagues and students in preparation for its official launch, as well as her vision for using open access licensing to allow philosophy educators worldwide to use Make Philosophy teaching materials—for free—at their own institutions. Fittingly, the presentation will be an interactive one: participants will have the opportunity to test several prototype lesson modules, each of which focuses on a classic philosophical problem or thought experiment and features physical objects that students can interact as they learn.

Click on the link below to view the meeting:


Passcode: 2W*SkQLx

9-27-2022  Death of A Republic

William (Bill) Denney, Ph.D.

A Republic is a form of government ruled by representatves of the citizen body, supposedly a stable and balanced system. However, the Roman Republic unraveled and collapsed due to circumstances we may find familiar. This presentation will review the time in which the Romans of the Republic lived, what was important to them, how their government worked, and what circumstances or human short-comings caused the death of the republic. We’ll look at their final years of chaos and the dichotomy between two major characters of the period—Caesar and Cicero. As all history, this is a story about people like us.

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Passcode: u2*TeD*7


10-11-2022  Consciousness and Projective Geometry

Kenneth Williford, Ph.D. , Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy and Humanities, UT Arlington

The talk is an overview of the Projective Consciousness Model (PCM). According to the PCM, the structure of consciousness approximates the structure of a projective 3-space, and its dynamics is governed in part by mechanisms of predictive error minimization employing projective transformations. The PCM allows for the explanation of a number of characteristic and puzzling phenomena closely associated with consciousness: among other things, the first-person perspective, pre-reflective self-consciousness, the capacity for intersubjectivity, perspectival perceptual updating, the elusiveness of the "subject of consciousness", and certain illusions (e.g., the Ames Room Illusion, the Moon Illusion).

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10-25-2022 What Friendship Has to Do with Learning

Jonathan Sanford, Ph.D. , President, University of Dallas,  Professor, Philosophy Department, University of Dallas

What is it to be well educated? How does one become well educated? Is the purpose of a university to make its students well educated? If they ever existed, long gone are the days when we can take for granted that we all mean more or less the same thing when we say words like ‘university’ and ‘education’. Of course, nearly everyone sees a connection between these two terms: someone goes to a university to receive an education. But, what one takes to be an education varies widely, with a preponderance towards some version of an utilitarian account of education. That account goes something like this: a university education is an investment which is made to achieve long term revenue generation in one’s chosen field. A university, on this utilitarian account, is that collection of specialized fields of study which presents to students possible pathways to future employment. Something like this is the dominant view of what a university is for, and what education is all about.

Now, of course it is important to plan for future employment. And, of course, universities can and ought to play a role in such preparation. It is no slight to the significance of gainful employment to recognize that the predominant utilitarian view of the terms ‘education’ and ‘university’ improperly puts accidents into the role of substance. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that when you put the secondary role of preparing for a career into the principal role of the foundational substance of a university education, the achievement of that result is hampered. I hope to say something worthwhile about the genuine substance of university education in my remarks by emphasizing the significance of two necessary features of any successful education, friendship and educability. I will argue that any education requires a teachable spirit, a virtue that the ancients and medievals called docilitas, and that the lived encounter with others in pursuit of the principal goods of an education are critical to the further cultivation and exercise of the virtue of educability.

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Passcode: 185@uiUM

11-8-2022  You Might Be a Stoic if . . .

 Kent Fish, MD

How then should we live?  What does it mean to live a good life? Do we need a philosophy of life to get there?  The ancient philosophy of Stoicism tries to help us find that answer.  The modern day meaning of stoic as being emotionless or cold does not do justice to the vibrant, action-oriented, feeling Stoic who is interested in being a better person and living a better life. We’ll look at Stoicism from its origins with Zeno in Athens followed by the three most famous Roman Stoics: Seneca (Nero’s tutor and playwright), Epictetus (a disabled former slave), and Marcus Aurelius (emperor of Rome). Today, over 100,000 people are members of online communities for modern Stoics, and there are meet-ups, conferences, and websites for those seeking to master the Stoic way of life. But what is Stoicism, and what makes it resonate so powerfully today? In this talk we will take a frolicking tour of Stoicism by exploring the history, foundational ideas, cardinal virtues, exercises, misconceptions, and practices of this ancient philosophy of life.  Then you can decide if you are (or want to be) a Stoic

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Passcode: SUBZV@3C

11-22-2022   CANCELLED  due to unforeseen circumstances, our speaker had to cancel

12-13-2022  Called to Concord: Aristotle, Aquinas, and Civic Friendship

Dr. Angela Knobel, Ph.D,  Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Dallas

The problem of civic strife is as old as political society itself.  Thus, it is fitting that several contemporary scholars have looked to Aristotle, who maintained that friendship was of paramount importance to political society, for insight into our contemporary ills.  But while Aristotle rightly recognizes the importance of civic friendship, has an incomplete account of what it is and of what brings it about.  Indeed, Aristotle’s account seems to indicate that what has happened in American society was not only inevitable, but that it is also insoluble: it’s not clear, that is to say, that Aristotle can offer us any way of improving our present situation.  Can Aquinas?  Aristotle says that civic friendship is identical with something that he calls “concord.”  Aquinas, well aware of Aristotle’s understanding of concord, also addresses concord, but he does not treat it as a form of civic friendship.  Concord, for Aquinas, is a unity of wills and a proper effect of the infused theological virtue of charity. Aquinas, that is to say, thinks that to be united to God in friendship is to be brought into harmony with our fellow man. In this paper I want to examine whether and how Aquinas’s Christian and theological notion of concord might enable us to overcome the seeming impasse that the more Aristotelian understanding seems to culminate in.  Aquinas’s account succeeds where Aristotle’s does not, I will argue, because it demands more of us than Aristotle’s does. 

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Passcode: ?Ns!7czh