Since at least the time of Plato, philosophy and literature have been presented as rival lovers, each claiming a place in our lives above the other. But must contemplation and artistic creativity always be at odds? Aristotle and Shakespeare's portrayals of the "magnanimous man" illustrate a more complex relationship. Closer to our own time, J.R.R. Tolkien suggests a way of reconciling the contemplative and the creative in his short story “A Leaf by Niggle” and his essay “On Fairy-Stories,” in contrast to Richard Wagner's insistance that creative life must be supreme.
Lunch will be provided. Spaces are limited; those wishing to attend should RSVP to Patrick Hough.
Raymond Hain is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Providence College and Director of the Providence College Humanities Forum.