RSU to Hold Seminar Series to Discuss Philosophical Issues

Dr. Frank GrabowskiRogers State University will be hosting a series of academic seminars that will allow faculty, students, staff and community members the opportunity to discuss important works and their implications on contemporary society.

Organized by the RSU Department of English and Humanities, three colloquia have been scheduled for the spring semester, including discussions on the following books: “What’s Wrong with Benevolence” by David Stove, on Friday, Feb. 20; “The Revolt of the Masses” by José Ortega y Gasset on Friday, March 27; and “On the Future of Our Educational Institutions” by Friedrich Nietzsche on Friday, April 24.

During each event, a group of 10 to 15 participants will discuss the particular work and provide insights into historical and contemporary impacts arising from the work.

Dr. Frank Grabowski, head of RSU’s Department of English and Humanities, is organizing these academic seminars as part of a campus and community outreach to consider classic works.

“I think there are many people on campus and in the community who want to delve deeply into significant books and engage in a robust discussion about how these issues are relevant today,” he said.

The Feb. 20 event will examine the 1989 essay from Stove, an Australian philosopher who argued that institutional and universal benevolence leads to negative economic results, including increased poverty. The March 27 event will discuss the 1930 book in which the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset examines the rise of culture focused on the interests of the masses, which he says creates a drift towards chaos.

The April 24 event will focus on the work on the 19th century German philosopher Nietzsche, where he focused on a perceived decline in “classical education” and argued for an advancement of culture.

The first two colloquia of the semester are sponsored by RSU through an internal grant, while the April 24 colloquium is part of the Charles Koch Colloquia Series sponsored through a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. In November, the first installment of the Koch Colloquia Series focused on the moral and political implications of “Leisure: The Basis of Culture,” a 1947 text from German Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper.

The February and March events will be approximately 90 minutes to two hours long. The Koch Colloquium in April will be a bit longer to include more in-depth discussion, and the event includes lunch and a small stipend for each participant.

Dr. Grabowski currently is seeking RSU faculty, staff, students or community members who are interested in participating in the events. For more information, contact Grabowski at [email protected].