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Lecture by Dr. Mark Lilla


Lecture by Dr. Mark Lilla

DATE: Friday May 31st, 19:00-22:00

TITLE: On Wanting Not to Know: From Oedipus to Us

VENUE: Rapenburg 6, Leiden

Deadline: May 28th, 2024

The topic for this Lecture Series is "On Wanting Not to Know: From Oedipus to Us".

Aristotle claimed that “all human beings want to know.” Our own experience proves that all human beings also want not to know. Today, centuries after the Enlightenment, mesmerized crowds still follow preposterous prophets, irrational rumors trigger fanatical acts, and magical thinking crowds out common sense and expertise. Why is this? Where does this will to ignorance come from, and how does it continue to shape our lives?

The second lecture of the Pascal Lecture Series will be held by Dr. Mark Lilla.

Mark Lilla was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1956, and was educated at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. After holding professorships at New York University and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, he joined Columbia University in 2007 as Professor of the Humanities. He has been awarded fellowships by the Russell Sage Foundation, the Institut d’études avancées (Paris), the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and the American Academy in Rome. In 1995 he was inducted into the French Order of Academic Palms.

Lilla wrote many books and articles on politics, liberalism and conservatism. He is also known as an excellent teacher and a great supporter of liberal education.

Reading the works of Plato, Erasmus, Shakespeare, Montesquieu and other Great Books teaches us better thinking and gives perspective on our times. Who can match their search for the Good, the Beautiful and the True? But we also live in the here and now, and in a world full of challenges and problems and opportunities to explore. We must constantly apply old insights to new realities. That's what the Pascal Lecture Series is for.

Five times a year a renowned thinker, writer, poet or doer from home and abroad holds a lecture, followed by discussion with Pascal professors, students and others. The lectures always have a different topic: current (geo)politics, war and peace, art, literature, natural science, theology, law or economics, or something else. It can be about acute and urgent issues, but also about the age-old, biggest questions, and relates them to each other.

The evening proceeds as follows. The speaker delivers his lecture for about sixty minutes. After a thirty minutes break, there will be a conversation about the lecture. Students, faculty and other interested attendees can choose whether to sit in the first ring and then participate in the conversation, or sit or stand around it to watch the conversation.

With this model we follow the model developed at the American St. John's College in Annapolis - one of the oldest Great Books programs. In this form, they have had lively, enriching and enjoyable evenings for years.

The deadline to sign up for the Lecture Series is 28/05/2024. You can sign up for this event by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page.

Date: Friday May 31st

Arrival: 19:00 - 19:15

End: 22:00

Title: On Wanting Not to Know: From Oedipus to Us

Venue: Rapenburg 6, Leiden

Sign up deadline: May 28th, 2024

Entrance fee:
Student : EUR 25
Non-student: EUR 35