Polymathic Pizza Part I: The Conduct of Life

Fall 2013
Polymathic Pizza Part I: The Conduct of Life

What are the requirements for the good life?  For generations, philosophers, poets, novelists, truth-seekers of every sort have pondered this question.  For the fall 2013 Polymathic Pizza get-togethers, the constituent elements of the Conduct of Life will be considered in conversation with a USC professor with expertise in a specific requirement for the good life.

Carlin Daley
September 4, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Following the Greek notion that “in health alone is victory,” Aristotle lists this requirement as fundamental to the conduct of life.  Under the guidance of Assistant Professor Carlin Daley, students – fortified with a healthy serving of healthy pizza – will examine the health requirement...

Dana Gioia
September 18, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Aristotle did not glorify riches, but he did note that dire poverty or other significant scarcity of means had a way of making the achievement of the good life more than a little bit difficult.  Some of the great religious traditions have endorsed a renunciation of wealth as a high virtue...

Edwin McCann
September 25, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

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...

Jennifer Hook
October 2, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Man is a sexual and procreative creature as well as a social animal.  From sexuality, tradition holds, came children and family formation to protect child development.  Until recently, most political philosophers began their treatise on the nature of the commonwealth or the state with a...

Michael Messner
October 16, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Inimicus inimici mei amicus meus est, (the enemy of my enemy is my friend).  This ancient proverb proves most powerful when alliances between assumed adversaries form and contribute to social justice.  In 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, men joined forces with women to challenge...

October 30, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

On the other hand, as tradition also tells us, he who does not work does not eat.  Even more dramatically, it can be argued that work, while a necessity, puts us in contact with our best selves as we become Homo Faber (mankind the maker, as the ancient Romans described it).  In his...

Paul Lichterman
November 20, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

Ours is an age that prizes privacy.  Yet we also inherit a tradition, dating from ancient times, East and West, that sees the good life in terms of promoting the common good, or at the least, not detracting from it.  Politics or some form of public career has proven a time-honored pathway...

Gary Watson
December 4, 2013
5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Doheny Memorial Library,
Room 241

A philosophy of ethics implies an effort to discern the good in a specific situation and to choose it as a matter of right conduct.  Easier said than done!  How do we form our own ethical standards?  What are the roles played in this process by religion, family, ethnicity, society, and law...