McMaster Philosophy Talks: Pondering the Pandemic - Ancient Philosophy for the COVID-19 Calamity

COVID-19 is a scientific and public health challenge that has laid bare the legitimacy and implications of the measures taken to combat the virus. Join us for a series of three talks that explore questions that demand our deep contemplation, critical evaluation, and creative ideation. Talk #1: Ancient Philosophy for the COVID-19 Calamity The response to COVID-19 has changed the way we interact with strangers, acquaintances, and loved ones. We wonder, therefore, why and to what degree friendship is important for living a good life. Can friendships can be created or sustained through the veil of technology? We have also been asked to do many unpleasant things - are we willing to make these sacrifices because we are self-interested or other-regarding? Can these motives possibly be related? We have, furthermore, been asked to forego many of the things that provide our lives with joy and meaning - how has this affected our happiness? Does the prevention of doing such things undermine our happiness? How much of our happiness is under our control and how much isn't? Ancient philosophers thought deeply about these questions, and came up with creative and compelling ideas to respond to them. Join Professors Mark Johnstone, Daniel Coren and James Sikkema from McMaster's Department of Philosophy as they explain how Aristotle, the Stoics and Epicurus can provide us ways to think through these timeless questions as they have been asked anew in light of the novel coronavirus. McMaster's Centre for Continuing Education and McMaster Alumni have partnered with the Department of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities for this discussion.