Episode 23: Lost in Thought with Zena Hitz

In Episode 23, I speak with Zena Hitz about her new book, Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life.  We discuss how love of learning saved us and how we can reclaim it for ourselves in our busy and distracted world. I hope you enjoy our conversation!

Zena Hitz is a tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland where she teaches across the liberal arts.  She writes in defense of intellectual activity for its own sake, a thesis she defends in her new book, Lost in Thought.  Her scholarly work has focused on the political thought of Plato and Aristotle, especially the question of how law cultivates or fails to cultivate human excellence.  She received an MPhil in Classics from Cambridge and studied Social Thought and Philosophy at the University of Chicago before finishing her PhD in Philosophy at Princeton University.

Jennifer A. Frey is assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with Classics minor) at Indiana University-Bloomington. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology

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Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.

 

 

 

Episode 22: Huxley on Love and Longing in the Dystopia

In episode 22, I am joined by the philosopher David McPherson, of Creighton University, to discuss Huxley’s famous sci-fi dystopia, “Brave New World.”  We discuss how technological progress can accelerate processes of dehumanization and how the loss of piety transforms how we experience love and desire.  Along the way, we bring in help from Nietzsche, Alasdair MacIntyre, Cora Diamond, Michael Sandel, and of course, Leon Kass. As always, I hope you enjoy our conversation.

David McPherson is associate professor of philosophy at Creighton University.  He is the author of Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective and editor of Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches. He is currently working on a book that addresses alienation.

Jennifer A. Frey is assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department.  She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with Classics minor) at Indiana University-Bloomington. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology

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Preview on iTunes

Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.

 

 

 

 

Episode 21: Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim

Like everyone else, my life has been upended by the global pandemic.  I have five kids in public schools here in South Carolina (plus one very rambunctious and ornery toddler), so I am now a homeschooling Mom in addition to being a professor, podcaster, and writer.  I am sleep deprived and each day I fall further and further behind were I’d like to be.  My priority right now is my family.

However, I’m still trying to put up content on the podcast, because I believe that now, more than ever, we need time and space for reflection and contemplation.  We need art, friends, and I desperately need the sort of conversation I just had for this episode.  I am not as prepared for these podcasts as I’d normally be, but I hope that this pandemic content still inspires you to pick up a great book and think about what really matters.

I was genuinely thrilled to discover that Phil Klay, national book award winning author of Redeployment and Iraq war veteran, not only knew who I was but was endorsing my humble podcast on Twitter!  Let me return the favor: Phil has a podcast of his own, with Jacob Siegal, which, like mine, tries to model the art of great conversation about art and ideas.  If you don’t know about Manifesto pod, have a listen and consider subscribing!  I think you will not be disappointed.

Episode 21 is a discussion about Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim. Phil and I discuss narrative identity and self-knowledge, the perils we encounter in our search for truth, and the nature of the absurd.  As always, I hope you enjoy our conversation.

 

 

Lecture: Flannery O’Connor and the Vision of Grace

 

Remember the very first episode of Sacred and Profane Love?  It was on Flannery O’Connor and Redemptive Love with my favorite Hillbilly Thomist, Thomas Joseph White, O.P. Anyway, I recently gave a lecture at the University Club in downtown Chicago titled, “Flannery O’Connor and the Vision of Grace”, which I am posting for those who are interested in how the thought of Thomas Aquinas informs O’Connor’s artistic vision.