Please email seminars@newberry.org to be added to the wait list. We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students. And what if he thinks I am not committed enough to my job?” This may send you down a path of not only not joining the gym but working even harder to convince your boss of a belief or set of beliefs he doesn’t even hold. There is no point in pessimistically retreating from the world, either through our actions or by entertaining self-deluding beliefs about it. This seminar is part of a special series examining humanities contexts for pandemics past and present. There’s a saying, “It’s much easier to put on slippers than carpet the world.” Wearing slippers and carpeting the world are two different ways to make walking easier. And as we continue to live at the edge of the unknown, anxiety is a kind of guide. Our so-called “age of anxiety” is also the age that, much to its peril, has dismissed the humanities (especially the discipline of philosophy) as an impractical academic pursuit with little utility as a career path or as a guide for living well. Yet anxiety has been a central concern for thinkers from Epictetus and Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Lacan. There are no required materials for this class. You may not hand in a work assignment or finish a project because everything is not absolutely perfect. If fear is fearful of something particular and determinate, then anxiety is anxious about nothing in particular and is indeterminate. Anxiety is the first experience of our freedom, as a freedom from things and other people. But anxiety (and how to deal with it) has been one of the most enduring subjects of analysis for philosophers ranging from Epictetus and Kierkegaard to Heidegger and Lacan. I hope philosophy can be of similar service to you. Please call for waitlist. Led by Harrison Sherrod. Samir Chopra is professor of philosophy at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Everything that needs to get done becomes the same size to you. You begin to procrastinate. Viewing anxiety as an opportunity and actively listening to our emotions instead of pushing them away is an interesting way of functioning with anxiety and presents a great chance for personal growth. You might be afraid to make any decisions because you don’t trust your decision making ability. Anxiety was a philosophical concept before it taken up by psychology and psychiatry. That is to say, we form our identities by having and acting on our principles, commitments, hopes, and dreams. 6:30 - 8pm. Anxiety is the experience of the tide going out, the seawater draining away, revealing a self stranded on the strand, as it were. It drives us to push back the unknown, Apocalypticism, Dystopia, and the Singularity, Applied Intelligence, Problem Solving, and Innovation, George Gilder on Blockchain and Carbon Computing, Artificial Intelligence Gaming the Stock Market, Straight Talk About Fitting the Math Curriculum to the Student, Facebook Goes After Research Group Studying Its Ad Policies, AI Is Not Nearly Smart Enough to Morph Into the Terminator. Explore the other seminars in the series, including Familiar Strains, Chords, and Dischords: Musical Echoes from the 1918 Pandemic, Baseball in Cultural Crises, Utopias, and Arts of Dying: The Visual Culture of the Black Death in Medieval Europe. This freedom to construct ourselves promises us relief from a future written out and determined for us. Previous experience with philosophical texts is encouraged, but not necessarily required. Our so-called “age of anxiety” is also the age that, much to its peril, has dismissed philosophy as neither a worthwhile academic pursuit nor a guide to living well. The 17th-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote, “Anxiety for the future time, disposeth men to enquire into the causes of things.” In other words: You’re anxious, so you look for answers, for ways to remove your ignorance. • Søren Kierkegaard The Concept of Anxiety: A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin June 17, 1844 Vigilius Haufniensis, Edited and translated by Reidar Thomte Princeton University Press 1980 Kierkegaard's Writings, VIII ISBN 0691020116 Samir Chopra (pictured) thinks that anxiety is not a pathology but part of the ability to think about life in a human way. Early Registration Price (by February 6): $200. But the existential resonance of anxiety is much more than methodological. Among the facts about the world we must accept is the nature of the human condition. You begin to lack the perspective about what you must do as opposed to what you might like to do. And then, of course, the majority of philosophy is not about helping people in a direct or prescriptive way. Curiosity and anxiety are inextricably linked, for to learn is to be afraid and seek comfort in understanding.