The Middle Way Society was founded to promote the study and practice of The Middle Way. The Middle Way is the idea that we make better judgements by avoiding fixed beliefs and being open to practical experience. We challenge unhelpful distinctions between facts and values, reason and emotion, religion and secularism or arts and sciences. Though our name is inspired by some of the insights of the Buddha, we are independent of Buddhism or any other religion. We seek to promote and support integrative practice, overcoming conflict of all kinds.
Another new talk edited from the 2014 retreat. This time it’s about how we can make better value judgements. There are lots of possible approaches (e.g. God, utilitarianism), but it’s argued that we need to avoid using any one of them absolutely or exclusively.
A new talk edited from the 2014 Summer Retreat, (and on a theme very relevant to this year’s retreat, on ethics). How can we find a Middle Way between assuming ourselves (and others) are totally responsible for what they do, or on the other hand assuming no responsibility?
We are joined by the pragmatist philosopher Richard Shusterman, the professor of philosophy at Florida Atlantic University. He’s the author of several books including Practicing Philosophy: Pragmatism and the Philosophical Life, Body Consciousness and Thinking through the Body. He’s also travelled widely and is arguably something of a polymath having held appointments in other disciplines in the humanities. For example, he taught comparative literature in Israel , he’s been the Visiting Research Professor in Aesthetics in Hiroshima, Japan and he was an associate of the École des Hautes Études in Sciences Sociales in Paris. He’s also a professional practitioner of the Feldenkrais method and he’s perhaps most known for his contributions to aesthetics and the emerging field of somaesthetics and this is what we’re going to be talking about today.
When the Regime commanded that books with harmful knowledge
Should be publicly burned and on all sides
Oxen were forced to drag cartloads of books
To the bonfires, a banished
Writer, one of the best, scanning the list of the Burned, was shocked to find that his
Books had been passed over. He rushed to his desk
On wings of wrath, and wrote a letter to those in power ,
Burn me! he wrote with flying pen, burn me! Haven’t my books
Always reported the truth ? And here you are
Treating me like a liar! I command you!