Caroline Winterer, Director and Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford Humanities Center; Professor of History and of Classics at Stanford University Russell Hancock, Pianist, Saint Michael Trio, and President and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley Judy Salter, Board Member, Cal Humanities, and former President and CEO of Turtle Bay Exploration Park Read more »
Alva Noë, Professor of Philosophy, UC Berkeley; Author, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature
What is art? Why do we value art as we do? What does art reveal about our nature? Alva Noë offers new answers to these questions through his book Strange Tools, which makes provocative use of examples in philosophy, art history and cognitive science. Listen to Noë explain why recent efforts to frame questions about art in terms of neuroscience and evolutionary biology alone have been, and will continue to be, unsuccessful.
On one Monday evening of every month the Humanities Forum sponsors Socrates Café at The Commonwealth Club. Each meeting is devoted to the discussion of a philosophical topic chosen at that meeting. The group's facilitator, John Nyquist, invites participants to suggest topics, which are then voted on. The person who proposed the most popular topic is asked to briefly explain why she or he considers that topic interesting and important. An open discussion follows, and the meeting ends with a summary of the various perspectives participants expressed. Read more »
Join us for a discussion of hell and purgatory within Dante’s Divine Comedy, led by Lynn Harris. The Clive James’s translation will be used, which was decades in the making and renders the entire epic as a coherent and compulsively readable lyric poem. Yet the translation reproduces the same wonderful momentum of the original Italian, propelling the reader along the pilgrim’s path from hell to heaven, from despair to revelation.
Monday Night Philosophy arrests your attention with John Mindermann’s insights from his book In Pursuit (co-authored with Brian Solon). Gathered from nearly a decade on the SFPD and his career as an FBI agent, the book details his riveting experiences, including June 17, 1972, when Mindermann just happened to be called in to investigate a burglary at the Watergate complex. You cannot get any closer to history than this.
Steven Machtinger, Attorney; Violist; Independent Mozart Scholar
This program is part of the 2015 Platforum series Music Matters, sponsored by Ernst & Young and the John and Marcia Goldman Foundation.
Steven Machtinger and the London Quintet return to The Commonwealth Club for the Music Matters series, this time exploring how Mozart expressed Masonic attitudes toward death and immortality in the third movement of his "G minor String Quintet" of 1787. Read more »