Man is a social animal. Thus Aristotle postulates friendship as a fundamental requirement for the good life. By friendship Aristotle suggested what we moderns might call social adjustment, social connection, self-esteem in a social context, as well as just plain friends. But what about friendship in an age of social media? Can someone on Facebook actually list hundreds of friends and meet Aristotle’s requirements? What, in short, does friendship mean in an age of hook ups, social media, and fiscalized relationships? And what did the Anglican C.S. Lewis mean when he told us that friends, to be true friends, must share some overlapping visions? Professor Edwin McCann will engage students in a friendly conversation about the implications of today’s relationship culture.
A philosopher, literary scholar, and historian, Professor Ed McCann’s research interests center in the history of modern philosophy, especially Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Newton, Kant, and the great early 20th century polymath Ludwig Wittgenstein. One example of his innovative approach to philosophical and historical inquiry, Professor McCann guides his students to view trials as crucial indicators of society coming to terms with threatening concepts and their implications. Professor McCann is a treasure-trove of knowledge who patiently walks students through not only the complex historical conditions, but also the intellectual climate of each era.