Calendar of Events
Monday, November 9, 2015 - 7:00pm
Philosophy Lecture "Work as Contemplation: On Plato's Conception of Technē"
On Monday 9 November 2015 at 7:00PM in Vianney Auditorium, the Department of Philosophy will host an evening lecture in Vianney Hall. Our presenter will be Prof. D.C. Schindler, Associate Professor of Metaphysics and Philosophical Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America. The abstract for his talk is as follows:
Abstract: It is customary in presentations of classical philosophy to draw a clear contrast between the self-contained, intellectual activity of contemplation and the embodied, external character of action; while the former is recognized as an intrinsic good, the latter is often taken, above all, to concern matters of utility and need. An example of this contrast can be found in Josef Pieper’s well-known book Leisure: the Basis of Culture, which calls for the recovery of a sense of contemplation in order to restore the health of modern life. A potential problem in this approach to the narrow pragmatism and utilitarianism of modernity, however, is that it threatens to reduce the fundamentally human activity of work to mere servility. This lecture will draw on the notion of technē – “art, skill, or craft” – that Plato develops in his great dispute with sophistry to argue not only that work can be harmonized with contemplation, but that, properly understood and practiced, it represents in fact a unique and indispensable form of contemplation already in itself. The lecture will conclude by showing how Plato’s insights into the nature of work dovetail with key observations of Matthew Crawford, the contemporary philosopher of work, and lend them a needed metaphysical weight.
D.C. Schindler is an editor of Communio: International Catholic Review, and the author of several books including: The Catholicity of Reason, The Perfection of Freedom: Schiller, Schelling, and Hegel Between the Ancients and the Moderns, Plato’s Critique of Impure Reason: On Truth and Goodness in the Republic, and Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Dramatic Structure of Truth: Philosophical Investigations. His areas of research and teaching are metaphysics and philosophical anthropology, and is currently working on a multi-volume critique of the modern concept of freedom as the power to choose in light of a metaphysics of freedom based on actuality.