The Examined Life: Truth and Reality



9:30 am-11:00 am


6/2, 6/9, 6/16, 6/23

Four Sessions

TThis course will be offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

In 2015 the leaders of the U.S. Republican Party unanimously rejected claims by most climate scientists about the effects of global warming caused by human activity. This forced the general public to question the very nature of truth itself and whether it is possible to know what is real and what is not. Perhaps there is no truth and all we can do is persuade others by any means possible. This is not a problem that grows out of contemporary politics but one that has puzzled philosophers at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. In the 20th century this topic spawned a major conflict between facts and values, placing science on one side and politics, ethics, art and religion on the other.

In January of 2020 we began to hear scientific reports of a new form of coronavirus that quickly became a pandemic that largely closed down the entire globe. We may debate the causes, but who denies its reality? This leaves us in a quandary: We do not know the truth, but we cannot deny reality. In this course we will take a closer look at this issue and how a reasonable person might escape from this dilemma.

    Albert A. Anderson, Ph. D.,  is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Babson College and President of Agora Publications.  Dr. Anderson has held tenured positions in philosophy at Babson College, Clark University, and Albion College. He has also held full-time faculty positions at Rhode Island School of Design, where he served as Chair of the Liberal Arts Division, and at Bates College, where he taught in the Cultural Heritage program.  At Babson College he served as Chair of the Liberal Arts Division and as the Murata Professor of Ethics. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in philosophy from Boston University, and a B.A in English and Theater Arts from Morningside College.

    Please click here for the syllabus:

    Syllabus Truth and Reality.doc

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    OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
    Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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