Sydney Seminar for the Arts and Philosophy
The Sydney Seminar is a space for academics, practitioners and the public to exchange ideas about the arts, humanities, and culture in society. It is an initiative of Western Sydney University but is designed to operate collaboratively with other universities, educational and cultural institutions, media and arts organisations.
The Sydney Seminar operates under two thematic programmes, Arts and Philosophy and Culture and Society. The seminars take different formats ranging from accessible public lectures to conversations to performances with a strong emphasis on public participation.
Seminar 26: "What Do We Owe the Dead?"
Date and Time: Thursday 22 September 2016, 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM
Location: Metcalfe Auditorium, Macquarie Building, State Library of New South Wales
Recording available through the ABC RN
The aim of this talk is to show how some of our deepest ethical commitments are found in the way we think about, care for, and have a sense of responsibility to the dead. One way in which our sense of this responsibility is evident is found in the urge to recover the bodies of those who died in war even if this means that the living must risk their own lives to retrieve the dead. One finds powerful literary expressions of this in Homer's Iliad and Sophocles' Antigone, and one finds as well a profound understanding of the ethical meaning of the need to bury the dead in Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address". The purpose of this seminar is to examine some of the most penetrating literary, philosophical, and artistic presentations of this ethical sense of what we owe the dead, and to ask what the ethical sensibility might mean and what sort of conclusions we can draw from it.
Respondent: David Malouf
Dennis Schmidt is Research Professor of Philosophy at Western Sydney University. He is the author of numerous books, including Between Word and Image: Heidegger, Gadamer, and Klee (2016), Idiome der Wahrheit (2012), Lyrical and Ethical Subjects (2005), and On Germans and Other Greeks (2001).
David Malouf is the acclaimed author of novels including Ransom, The Great World (winner of the Commonwealth Writers' prize and the Prix Femina Etranger), Remembering Babylon (winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award), An Imaginary Life, Conversations at Curlow Creek, Dream Stuff, Every Move You Make and 12 Edmondstone Street.
|Welcome by Dimitris Vardoulakis (director of the Sydney Seminar)
|6:10 to 6:50 PM
|Dennis Schmidt - "What Do We Owe the Dead?"
|6:50 to 7:05 PM
|Response by David Malouf
|7:05 to 7:30 PM
|Questions and Answers
This Seminar is funded by the Philosophy Research Initiative at Western Sydney University.