Classics lecture series to explore stoicism

Peter Anderson
Peter Anderson

A self-reflective life leading to unshakeable happiness will be the overlying theme of Stoics Week at Grand Valley State University, presented by the Classics Department.

Peter Anderson, Classics Department chair, said stoics believe that humans have a natural capacity for rational thoughts and behaviors, which connect us to each other and to "the divine in the cosmos."

"Stoics believe that it is our purpose as humans to use our ability to reason so that we can live a virtuous life," Anderson said. "For stoics, this was called 'living in accordance with nature' and had profound implications for how a person might best live and be happy."

Stoics Week is an initiative that began in the United Kingdom to draw public attention to how stoic ideas and ethics can apply to modern life.

“The enduring value of Classics and humanities is to provide us not only with knowledge and skills that are unique and desirable in the work place, but also a frame of reference for understanding the lives and needs of others while improving our own lives,” said Anderson.

Stoics Week at Grand Valley will offer multiple presentations November 16-20 on the Allendale Campus:

“Theoretically Practical: What Kind of Life Should I Lead?”
Presented by Peter Anderson, Classics Department chair
Monday, November 16, from 1-1:50 p.m.
Au Sable Hall, room 2120 

“Sex in the City: Eros and the Ideal State”
Presented by Charles Ham, assistant professor of classics
Wednesday, November 18, from 1-1:50 p.m.
Au Sable Hall, room 2120

“The Stoic Queerness of Albus Dumbledore”
Presented by David Crane, assistant professor of classics
Friday, November 20, from 1-1:50 p.m.
Au Sable Hall, room 2120

“Emotions and the Happy Life”
Panel presentation
Friday, November 20, from 4-5:30 p.m.
Mackinac Hall, room BLL110
*A reception will follow this presentation

For more information, contact the Classics Department at (616) 331-3600 or visit the Classics Department website.


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