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Fall 2023 Intellectual Retreat: Good, True, Beautiful

All undergraduates are invited to participate in this end-of-quarter reflection on perennial questions.

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Fall 2023 Intellectual Retreat: Good, True, Beautiful
Fall 2023 Intellectual Retreat: Good, True, Beautiful

Time & Location

Dec 02, 2023, 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Atherton, 157 Stockbridge Ave, Atherton, CA 94027, USA

About the Event

All current Stanford undergraduates are invited to join Zephyr for its Fall Quarter intellectual retreat. In this daylong retreat, removed from the stresses and distractions of university life, we will come together as an intellectual community to consider perennial questions about the good, the true, and the beautiful. This event will be hosted at a private residence in Atherton and led by Prof. Mason Marshall of Pepperdine University. Meals will be provided, as well as ample time between sessions for personal reflection or informal discussion.

Our time together will be structured by three main sessions.

In our first, we will discuss the demands that the moral good places upon us. We will explore this issue by considering the answer of the ancient Stoics, whose stern rigorism has become proverbial: the seriousness of our moral obligations requires that we ignore our emotions entirely when deciding how to act, since they can only hinder, rather than help, our ability to meet these obligations. Were they right?

In our second session, we will consider the opposition of rhetoric and philosophy as portrayed by Plato in his Gorgias. Plato portrays this as a conflict between a fundamentally truth-directed art and a manipulative and deceptive knack. Is he correct about this—and, if so, who are today’s philosophers and rhetoricians?

In our final session, we will discuss the beautiful. While some, such as Plato, have viewed the beautiful as something objective and even transcendent, it is more common in our own day to view beauty as something subjective, a matter of mere taste about which there is no point disputing. Are our contemporaries right—or was there something that Plato saw that we are missing?

Space for this event is limited. Students can register at the link below.

Inquiries concerning this event should be directed to Landon Hobbs (


It is recommended that participants read Plato's Gorgias in advance. Free copies are available to registrants at the Zephyr House (2345 Dartmouth St.) and can be picked up by appointment.


All current Stanford undergraduates are eligible for this event.


  • Ticket: Intellectual Retreat




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