The Virtue Blog

Blogging about the good life. Host of podcast, Sacred and Profane Love.

Hyde Park Institute recent events with Tahera Qutbuddin, Thomas Pavel, and Adam Romeiser

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We’re pleased to share these recent events sponsored by our partner The Hyde Park Institute

Character and Action Mini-Seminars

The seminars offered in this series have a special focus on moral dimensions of human life and the role of good character in navigating these dimensions well. Participants in these seminars will think through these issues by engaging with philosophical, literary, and religious texts.

These extracurricular, faculty-led seminars meet 2-4 times a quarter for around 1 ½ hours each session. They are open to all University of Chicago students, though space is limited. Advanced reading will be assigned for each seminar, but no written work.

On January 27th, Thomas Pavel, Gordon J. Laing Distinguished Service Professor of Romance Languages and Literature, led the last of three sessions using works of literature and film to highlight non-cardinal virtues. More specifically, Prof. Pavel drew on the works of Henry James, Simone Weil, Robert Bresson, and Heinrich von Kleist to elicit paradigm instances and failings of incumbency, trust, and attention. After short background remarks that framed the discussion of each virtue, Prof. Pavel guided participants through an analysis and discussion of the text and the virtue it emphasized. The general theme was how an attitude similar to love or care is important for virtue and how self-possession or self-centeredness tend to destroy it.

 

On February 14th, Tahera Qutbuddin, Professor of Arabic Literature, and scholar with the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life, gave the second of two sessions on the ethical writings of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and brother-in-law of Muhammad. Ali was a larger than life figure who was a learned philosopher, an aesthetic, caliph, and warrior and commander. The sessions consisted of presentations by Prof. Qutbuddin, a period of discussion and inquiry, and each ended with participants analyzing selected texts of Ali’s. Prof. Qutbuddin explained that for Ali faith and ethics went hand-in-hand as piety requires virtue and virtue requires piety.

 

Emerging Scholars Cohort in Bioethics

The Emerging Scholars Cohort in Bioethics is a yearlong certificate program in which a select group of students will interact with exemplar physician-scholars and consider what it means to be a good health care clinician, understood to involve more than mere technical competence. Members of the cohort will participate in a 2-day, intensive seminar and a series of lectures. Discussion of the seminar and lecture topics will continue over arranged dinners with the invited speakers. Throughout this program students will think through questions concerning the legitimate goals of medicine, the doctor-patient relationship, and medical professionalism, among others.

 

On February 21st, Dr. Adam Romeiser delivered an address titled “Rest, Renunciation, and Reconciliation: Three R’s and Their Relation to Health and Freedom in the Age of Addiction,” to the Emerging Scholar Cohort in Bioethics. The talk focused the value these three habits have had for Dr. Romeiser’s practice. More specifically, Dr. Romeiser tied the habits to maintaining health—especially mental health and the avoidance of burnout—and the capacity or freedom to meet all of one’s obligations. The talk was followed by discussion of Dr. Romeiser’s work providing health care to the Lawndale community, and the efforts of Lawndale Christian Center to provide their patients the opportunity for lifestyle changes.

ESCB seminar

For more information about the Hyde Park Institute and their programs, visit https://hydeparkinstitute.org.

Hyde Park Institute Sponsoring Two Spring Courses at the University of Chicago

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Our partner the Hyde Park Institute is sponsoring two courses at the University of Chicago. Registration opens Monday, February 19.

Read more about the Hyde Park Institute here.

Anselm Mueller, Candace Vogler, and John Yoon are the faculty members of the Hyde Park Institute. Read more about them here.

 

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PHIL 21504/31504. The Nature of Practical Reason. Practical reason can be distinguished from theoretical or speculative reason in many ways. Traditionally, some philosophers have distinguished the two by urging that speculative or theoretical reason aims at truth, whereas practical aims at good. More recently, some have urged that the two are best known by their fruits. The theoretical exercise of reason yields beliefs, or knowledge, or understanding whereas the practical exercise of reason yields action, or an intention to do something, or a decision about which action to choose or which policy to adopt. In this course, we will focus on practical reason, looking at dominant accounts of practical reason, discussions of the distinction between practical and theoretical reasons, accounts of rationality in general and with respect to practical reason, and related topics. Prerequisite: At least one course in philosophy. Anselm Mueller; Candace  Vogler. DOWNLOAD PDF OF FULL DESCRIPTION HERE

 

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CCTS 21005 / MED XXXXX . The Challenges of the Good Physician: Virtue Ethics, Clinical Wisdom, and Character Resilience in Medicine. This multi-disciplinary course draws insights from medicine, sociology, moral psychology, philosophy, ethics and theology to explore answers to the unique challenges that medicine faces in the context of late modernity: How does one become a “good physician” in an era of growing moral pluralism and health care complexity? John Yoon, MD and Michael Hawking, MD.  DOWNLOAD PDF OF FULL DESCRIPTION HERE

 

 

Photos and tweets from “Speaking of Character” with David Brooks, Anne Snyder, and Candace Vogler

Twenty-seven undergraduates attended the day-long workshop “Speaking of Character” with David Brooks, Anne Snyder, and Candace Vogler on May 27, 2017, which was sponsored by the Hyde Park Institute and co-sponsored by Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.

The session was closed to the public but we captured a bit on Twitter and some photos.

Check more photos here on our Flickr page.

 

 

 

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CFA from UChicago Undergraduates: “Speaking of Character” with David Brooks, Anne Snyder, and Candace Vogler

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Speaking of Character

May 27th, 11-3:30 (coffee and pastries at 10)
Open to University of Chicago undergraduates, by application.

Many different cultures treat developing good character as one of the central challenges in human life. Your character draws together strengths that help you to pursue and promote good reasonably, avoid bad responsibly, and participate in the collective movements toward common good that shape the social world in which you find yourself. Good character is, as one says, a proof against rewards–a good person does not, for instance, betray her friends or her firm for the sake of personal advantage. Good character is supposed to help people set their priorities, to think well about good courses of action they might pursue here and now, experience sorrow over genuine losses, joy over real triumphs, and more generally to live wisely and well.  With background reading by two philosophers, we will gather to think and talk about character in a one-day seminar.

David Brooks became an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in September 2003. He is currently a commentator on “The PBS Newshour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He is the author of “Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There” and “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement.” In April of 2015 he came out with his fourth book, The Road to Character, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Mr. Brooks also teaches at Yale University, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

 

Anne Snyder is the Director of The Character Initiative at The Philanthropy Roundtable, a pilot program that seeks to help foundations and wealth creators around the country advance character formation through their giving. She is also a Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, a Houston-based think tank that explores how cities can drive opportunity and social mobility for the bulk of their citizens. Prior to jumping to the Lonestar state she worked at The New York Times in Washington, as well as World Affairs Journal and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University and a B.A. in philosophy and international relations from Wheaton College (IL). Anne has published in National Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Philanthropy Magazine, Orange County Register, Center for Opportunity Urbanism, The Institute for Family Studies, FaithStreet, Comment Magazine, Verily, Humane Pursuits, and FareForward.

 

Candace Vogler is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago, and Principal Investigator on “Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life,” a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation.  She has authored two books, John Stuart Mill’s Deliberative Landscape: An essay in moral psychology (Routledge, 2001) and Reasonably Vicious (Harvard University Press, 2002), and essays in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, sexuality studies, and other areas.  Her research interests are in practical philosophy (particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe), practical reason, Kant’s ethics, Marx, and neo-Aristotelian naturalism.

Who is invited: UChicago undergraduates, by application only. Visit hydeparkinstitute.org/speaking-of-character for more information and to apply.

Contact person: zloveless@hydeparkinstitute.org