Roundtable discussion with Jonathan Neufeld (Philosophy), Simon Lewis (English), and Ornaith O’Dowd (Philosophy)
In 1997, J. M. Coetzee’s delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values that would become his novella The Lives of Animals. Typically, the Tanner lectures are philosophical essays presenting arguments on specific ethical or political problems or concepts. Instead of presenting the usual set of arguments, Coetzee delivered two lectures that were two chapters from a novella. The novella’s central character, Elizabeth Costello, herself delivers two lectures on humans’ mistreatment animals (to put it mildly). While she presents arguments and counterarguments, as do other characters in the story, these arguments do not simply stand as arguments—they are also, of course, literary devices that constitute the book as the work of art that it is. Is Coetzee really just making an argument, and just adding color to it with the story? Or does the fact that it is a piece of literature change the status of the arguments in it? Why might we make certain kinds of ethical claims in artistic form rather than in some other form (the form of philosophical argument typically found in the Tanner Lectures, for example)? Is there something about talking about the lives of animals, in particular, that calls for a literary, rather than a philosophical response?
February 14, 12:15-1:30PM Alumni Center in the School of EHHP
This is nicely appropriate to our discussion of performance and the relationship between the arts (and just interesting on its own):
The Halsey Institute will be hosting a series of poetry readings during the January to March 2013 exhibition, Lesley Dill’s Poetic Visions: From Shimmer to Sister Gertrude Morgan. The Tongues Aflame poetry series is design to be a response to Dill’s fusion of language and image. All readings are free and open to the public. They will begin at 7:00pm and take place in the Halsey Institute galleries. A reception will follow each reading.
We will discuss Chapter 1 (“The Nature of Artistic Performance”) and Chapter 2 (“The Classical Paradigm I: The Nature of the Performable Work”) from David Davies’s Philosophy of the Performing Arts. If you need a copy of the reading, contact Jonathan Neufeld in the Philosophy Department.