Yale Professor Shelly Kagan: Utopia & the Ideal Human Life
3 JUNE 2019 | 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Considered one of Yale’s most thought-provoking lecturers, Clark Professor of Philosophy Shelly Kagan is our 2019 Redpath lecturer — recommended by a recent grad who speaks of Shelly (as he answers to) as one of the high points of his college days. Known academically for his work in normative ethics, Shelly’s class on death is equally popular online as part of Yale Open Courses.
Most humans, for most of human history, did not have the luxury to think about philosophical questions in a systematic and sustained way. Even most humans alive today do not have that luxury. I have a job that allows me to sit around and think about philosophical questions. Not only that—I teach at Yale, where I work with some of the smartest people on the planet: undergraduates, graduate students, and colleagues. My job gives me the gift of being able to think about philosophical questions with these people. I am forever grateful that I have been given this chance.
The title of his talk is: Games, Utopia, and the Ideal Human Life: What would an ideal human life look like? Let’s let our imaginations run free, allowing us to put aside all the things that we do now only because we have to. Imagine instead an incredible Utopia where technology liberates us from all of that: a society where technology can instantly, painlessly and effortlessly provide you with anything you need. How then would you fill your days? What, exactly, would you still choose to do? Shelly will help us explore one fascinating possible answer to this question: that all that would be left for us to do, as the true essence of the ideal human life, would be to play games. This topic can be entertained from many perspectives, and so alumni with various interest will have something to consider and contribute.
To understand how he engages his audience with ideas, consider that he doesn’t use PowerPoint. So free of AV needs, his reception and talk on Monday, June 3rd, will be at the home of Allison Westfahl Wagner ’01. The event starts at 6:00 pm with light appetizers and wine & beer. After time to socialize and meet Shelly, he will give his presentation, which will be followed by Q&A. This event also functions as the Colorado Yale Association’s annual meeting.
An opportunity to have a top-notch Yale experience in Colorado, this CYA event has been a while in the making and promises to be memorable. There is a cap on the number of attendees and a one-guest limit. So sign up asap. Admission is $25 payable by PayPal or by check: Colorado Yale Association, P.O. Box 911, Denver, CO 80201. Please take the extra step and RSVP to Stephanie Grilli, so that she can provide the address and other communications: firstname.lastname@example.org