Thought and Judgment
A conference on "Thought and Judgment" will occur on March 8-10, 2019. See here for details! For questions, please contact Till Höeppner (email@example.com).
Lucretius On the Nature of Things: Bringing Enlightenment to the Romans
Lucretius’ epic-scale poem On the Nature of Things was a unique attempt in the Greco-Roman world to remove superstition and fear through the teachings of Epicurus. Epicurus’ physics is outdated (though it spurred the revival of atomism in the modern era); and his hedonist ethics has always had strong detractors. But the beauty and deeply-embedded passion of Lucretius’ poetry have always been admired. In his own time, Lucretius had a strong influence, though his readers’ admiration consisted more in a profound admiration for his poetic genius than in a conversion to his Epicurean philosophy. When On the Nature of Things was rediscovered in the early Renaissance, this influence was revived and has persisted. In recent years, there has been a fresh upsurge of enthusiasm for Lucretius. This conference aims to contribute to this resurgence by situating Lucretius’ poems within his own time, in their historical, literary and philosophical context. Lucretius was adamant that he followed in the very footsteps of Epicurus; but the way in which he followed was highly innovative. The conference will explore a variety of approaches, both literary and philosophical. Organized as a collaboration between the Classics and Philosophy Departments at the University of Chicago, it will host six speakers and commentators over a period of one and half days, starting Friday, April 26, 2 PM- 6 PM and continuing on Saturday, April 27, 9.30 to 6 PM.