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  • Nov 16, 2023, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
    Rowling Hall (Room 4.314), 300 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78705, USA
    Among the Catholic political thinkers of the 20th century, Augusto Del Noce stood out for his ability to trace the deep theological and philosophical roots of modern politics. In this talk, his English translator will discuss Del Noce's analysis of the rise of modern totalitarian movements...
  • Oct 19, 2023, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    Texas Public Policy Foundation, 901 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701, USA
    For the past 10 years, the Austin institute and its fellows have answered the same questions and relentlessly and bravely defended the eternal truths of human nature and of the family from the attacks of modern culture. Join us and our fellows in discussing the next 10 years!
  • Oct 09, 2023, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
    Stumberg Hall, 3206 Fairfax Walk, Austin, TX 78705, USA
    What's the big deal about divorce? Why should we read and talk about it when everyone around us seems to be fine with it? The truth is: no matter what our family background, our age, or our state in life is, we all need to rediscover the immense impact that family life has on us and on our culture.
  • Oct 04, 2023, 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM
    Stumberg Hall, 3206 Fairfax Walk, Austin, TX 78705, USA
    Bagels, coffee, and male-only discussions on what matters most. Once a month, attendees will have the chance to read and talk about issues and challenges that the men of today are facing and that too often remain undisclosed: for fear of judgment or misunderstanding.
  • Sep 27, 2023, 7:00 PM – Dec 31, 2023, 9:00 PM
    Stumberg Hall, 3206 Fairfax Walk, Austin, TX 78705, USA
    This program is reserved for UT graduate students (and spouses) and is structured as a series of conversations around a dinner table. Dinner is provided, but prior registration is required. One or two short articles --our conversations starters--will be sent beforehand.
  • Sep 21, 2023, 7:00 PM
    Stumberg Hall or Zoom, 3206 Fairfax Walk, Austin, TX 78705, USA
    This coming fall, we are starting a new Good Life Reading Group + (Level 2). It will be open to all individuals above forty --or younger, but who do not feel they are "young professionals" anymore. Our first meeting will be in September and then continue every other week.

Mon, Jan 31


Clay Pit

It’s Not Selfish to Pursue One’s Own Happiness (Rightly Understood): Reconciling Platonic Eros with Christian Agape

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It’s Not Selfish to Pursue One’s Own Happiness (Rightly Understood):  Reconciling Platonic Eros with Christian Agape
It’s Not Selfish to Pursue One’s Own Happiness (Rightly Understood):  Reconciling Platonic Eros with Christian Agape

Time & Location

Jan 31, 2022, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Clay Pit, 1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701, USA

About The Event

Can the Christian ethic of selfless, self-sacrificial Agape be reconciled with the classical eudaemonism of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle? Thomas Aquinas attempted such a reconciliation, agreeing with the Greeks that one’s own happiness (eudaemonia/beatitude) is the ultimate end of all human action, and that self-love (eros) is the foundation of all other loves, while insisting (with the Christian tradition) that we are called to love God above self, and even to love oneself only for God’s sake. I will defend Aquinas’s harmonization against the charge of inconsistency, by distinguishing two ways in which something can be an “ultimate end”.

About our Scholar:

Professor Robert Koons, University of Texas at Austin

Professor Robert Koons specializes in philosophical logic and in the application of logic to long-standing philosophical problems, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind and intentionality, semantics, political philosophy and metaethics, and philosophy of religion. His book Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (Cambridge, 1992) received the Aarlt Prize from the Council of Graduate Schools in 1994. He is the author of Realism Regained (OUP, 2000) and the co-editor (with George Bealer) of The Waning of Materialism (OUP, 2010). He is at work with Tim Pickavance on a textbook on metaphysics. He is working on analytic Aristotelianism and social ontology.

About this year's theme for our programs: Happiness

We all want to be happy, but what does it mean to live a happy life and how does one get there?

This spring, the Austin Institute events will try to answer these questions. Looking at what lies at the root of any form of human flourishing, our speakers will help us navigate these issues in the broadest and yet deepest way. We will look at happiness through the eyes of philosophy, law, sociology, and literature. Hopefully, this will be an occasion to grow in happiness together,learning what it is that we should be starving for in this life.

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