“Following Nature: Ancient Philosophy on World Catastrophe” by Christopher Star, Professor of Classics, Middlebury College.
Several ancient Greek and Roman philosophers, including Plato, Epicureans, and Stoics, saw a close connection between world catastrophe and human history. These thinkers did not envision the future as characterized by endless progress, but rather stressed the power of nature over humanity. Were they the first thinkers to theorize “limits to growth”? Can ancient thought offer any insights for today’s looming environmental crises and existential risks? Are we currently living on a precipice, “the hinge of history,” that will determine the future of the planet? Building on my recent book, Apocalypse and Golden Age: The End of the World in Greek and Roman Thought, in this talk I will outline some of the potential, as well as the pitfalls, in using ancient Greek and Roman philosophy to address the catastrophes we may soon face.
- Sponsored by:
- Environmental Studies