2023–4 Undergraduate Fellowship: Value in a Human Life
This fellowship is open to undergraduate students at Stanford University. The deadline for applications is Saturday, September 30th.
Time & Location
October 4 & 18; November 1, 15, & 29
Palo Alto, 560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA
About the Event
In the 2023–4 academic year, our undergraduate fellows will reflect on perennial questions about what makes for a good human life. What confers value on our lives? What seems to confer a value which is in fact delusive? And what is the relative place and rank each of the many apparent goods holds in a complete and flourishing human life? Are all goods organized around a single, highest good? If so, what is this highest good?
This fall term, we will consider and test the claims of such self-directed apparent goods as pleasure, success, and fame. In winter, we will examine relational goods, such as love and friendship. Finally, in the spring term, we will think about transcendent goods, such as beauty and contemplation of the divine.
In addition to the biweekly seminar, fellows will have the opportunity to participate in a day-long intellectual retreat at the end of each term and to participate in cultural outings sponsored by the Zephyr Institute.
A provisional schedule for the fall term is printed below. Dinner will be provided to participants at each meeting.
Dates and Times (Fall 2023)
Meeting 1: October 4, 6–8pm
Topic: the Socratic project of philosophical inquiry into the good
Reading: Plato, Euthydemus (selections)
Meeting 2: October 18, 6–8pm
Topic: the value of experiences
Reading: J. S. Mill, Utilitarianism (selections); Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics X.1–5; Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (selections)
Meeting 3: November 1, 6–8pm
Topic: the value of making one’s name
Reading: Montaigne, Of Glory
Meeting 4: November 15, 6–8pm
Topic: Nietzsche and the will to power
Reading: Nietzsche (selections); Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics & Metaphysics (selections)
Meeting 5: November 29, 6–8pm
Topic: the value of being a good person
Reading: Cicero, De Finibus III
Intellectual retreat: December 2 (with Prof. Mason Marshall, Pepperdine University)
Seminars (Meetings 1–5) will be led by Landon Hobbs, who is Research Fellow and Director of Academic Programs at the Zephyr Institute.
The intellectual retreat will be led by Mason Marshall. Mason is Professor of Philosophy at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
Applications are open to undergraduate students at Stanford University. We are interested in students who are not just fascinated by the texts and ideas under discussion, but are also invested in being part of a community of ideas and meeting new interlocutors. To apply you must be available to attend the seminars (Meetings 1–5). Fellows are encouraged, but not required, to participate in the intellectual retreat.
The deadline for applications is Saturday, September 30th. Applicants will be notified whether they are accepted no later than Monday, October 2nd.