In the ancient philosophy of Plato, rigorous cultivation of the inner life makes love and wisdom possible, opening onto breathtaking vistas that visually evoke symphonia (literally a coming together musically, harmony). In modern conditions, many seem hard pressed to find earnest sounds and genuine visions (rather than manipulated chimeras) of truth, beauty, and goodness. Reconceived as a constitutive need of the human person rather than idle pursuit, such cravings become as real as hunger or thirst. Intricate attention to examples in music, art, film, and philosophy allows us to imagine inwardness, self-formation, and the pursuit of happiness anew.

You can attend this lecture in person at TEDS, or watch the live-stream on our website. More details upon registration.

This event is made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this conference are those of the participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn (PhD University of Massachusetts, Amherst) is Professor of History and Senior Research Associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute, Syracuse University. She is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia. Her most recent publication is Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020).

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