Registration for the following two events is now open.
Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle
François Laruelle is one of the most trenchant thinkers today. With his “non-philosophy,” he offers us explosive techniques for ferreting out the self-alienating forces at the very heart of our thought and world. His method, however, is not yet another exercise in personal actualization and social positivity. It may sow seeds of utopianism; but its seeds are soaked in a clear-eyed pessimism. It may reveal a universe of promise; but it is an unmistakably black universe. The overall effect is of a strange yet acutely vital form of life, thought, and practice.
Anthony Paul Smith, Ph.D., is the preeminent translator of Laruelle’s French works into English. He is assistant professor in the Religion Department of La Salle University, in Philadelphia. As indicated by the title of his recent book, Ecologies of Thought: Thinking Nature in Philosophy, Theology, and Ecology, Anthony works at the intersection of several disciplines, including philosophy, non-philosophy, theology, religious studies, and scientific ecology.
The workshop will combine the presentation of concepts with lively group discussion.
Time: September 23, Saturday, from 10am-3pm.
Location: Cultureworks, 1315 Walnut St, Suite 320, Philadelphia, PA 19107,
Facilitator: Anthony Paul Smith
Meditation: Self and Society
Inner peace. Stress reduction. Calmness. Clarity. These are terms commonly associated with meditation (and mindfulness) today. And it is difficult to deny that silent and attentive sitting does yield such affirmative results—for the individual. This success, however, may bear the seeds of a serious shortcoming. Meditation/mindfulness provides the individual with a method for uncoupling from tensions associated with living in our hyper-accelerated techno-consumerist capitalist society. This respite is only temporary. Tomorrow, it all starts over. In this way—in creating an individual who can retain inner peace within our social maelstrom—meditation inadvertently functions as society’s “perfect ideological supplement.” Must it be this way? This seminar is an investigation into the possibility that contemplative practice might impact the social formations that institutionalize the very anxieties we wish to escape.
The seminar will alternate between practice and discussion. As a basis, we will use the Buddhist meditation manual called the Anapanasati Sutta(Awareness With Each Breath). We will use this manual as our practice guide; and we will study it together with those of more contemporary social thinkers, such as Hannah Arendt, Theodor Adorno, Catherine Malabou, and Peter Sloterdijk. The seminar is driven by the question: how might an individual contemplative practice serve the social collective?
Dates: Mondays, September 25-October 16, 6-8:30 PM
Facilitator: Glenn Wallis
Meditation: Self and Society