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The Birth of Reason

Studium Generale | Start Lecture Series

This series of lectures will take you on a journey of discovery from Antiquity to early Modernity. The lecturers will analyze, contextualize, and possibly criticize some of the more conspicuous rationalization processes that have shaped Western civilization. Subjects include Aristotle’s resolutely scientific approach of reality, Thomas Aquinas’ astonishingly rational views of religion, and the innovative rationality that we find in ancient Greek politics. The series will conclude with a lecture on how, since René Descartes, our rational self-image has tended to seriously blur the perception we have of our fellow creatures in the animal kingdom.

The individual lectures:
(1) The Birth of Scientific Method from Aristotle’s Biology (De Haas / 27 Sept)
(2) Thomas Aquinas: Adam and Eve in Paradise (Goris / 4 Oct)
(3) Early Greek Rationalism in Political Practice and Theory (Singor / 11 Oct)
(4) Descartes versus Modern Biology: Paradigmatic Changes in our Perception of Animals (Van Hooff / 18 Oct)

Prof. Frans de Haas, Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Leiden University
Harm Goris, PhD, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Tilburg University
Henk W. Singor, PhD, historian, former lecturer in Ancient History, Leiden University
Prof. Jan van Hooff, em. Professor in Ethology & Socio-ecology, Utrecht University

Costs whole series
UM students €8
UM employees and students from other schools €20
Others €40

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