Slavic Colloquium: Thomas Icard

Slavic Colloquium: Thomas Icard
Thomas Icard (Stanford University)
Wed November 10th 2021, 5:40pm
Pigott Hall, Bldg 260, Rm 216 / Zoom

The Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures presents a talk in the Slavic Colloquium series, featuring:

Reason and Its Limits: Some Ideas for Teaching Philosophy through Russian Literary Texts
Thomas Icard (Stanford University, Philosophy)
Assessing the scope and limits of rational thought has been a major aim of much philosophical work, from moral philosophy to foundations of mathematics to the philosophy of language and mind. Somewhat uncomfortably, our default tool in philosophy for investigating these issues is more reasoning and rational thought. Narrative fiction can offer different perspectives, and we find particularly trenchant explorations of the limits of reason in 19th century Russian literature. Authors in this period pinpointed numerous themes and puzzles around where reasoning and rationality break down, or at any rate appear to exhaust their use, which would come to exercise philosophers in the 20th century and up to the present day. The aim of this talk will be to draw out some of those connections, with an eye toward potential pedagogical uses of the literary texts in introducing, illustrating, and illuminating philosophical problems about reason and its limits.
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