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Why Americans Are Feeling Lonely, Scared and Stuck

A conversation with Ian Marcus Corbin and Matthew B. Crawford

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Why Americans Are Feeling Lonely, Scared and Stuck
Why Americans Are Feeling Lonely, Scared and Stuck

Time & Location

Apr 11, 2022, 5:15 PM – 6:45 PM PDT

Zephyr Institute, 560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

About the Event

Lots of people are talking these days about the rise of loneliness in America, but what is loneliness? It's not simply being alone. Using reflections drawn from philosophy, psychology and neuroscience, we will see that each of us builds and tends our picture of the world - what is true, good, important, imperative, etc. -  in feedback loops with others who share the same world-picture. If we find ourselves in a situation where our world-picture becomes unshared, that picture can decay; we can find ourselves confused, uncertain, lacking a sense of what is truly important, who we are, why our actions matter. Loneliness is the word we use for this type of world-decay. We will see that a growing aversion to solitude seems to be a central reason why the normal process of communal world-tending seems to be breaking down in contemporary America.

Ian Marcus Corbin is a philosopher, research fellow in neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School, and a Research Affiliate at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University. He has studied politics, religion and philosophy at Gordon College, Oxford University, Yale University and Boston College, with an eye to the ways that deep human values function in the formation and evolution of human communities. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities in the Boston area and published widely in venues such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Point and Plough.

Matthew B. Crawford is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia and author of Why We Drive, The World Beyond Your Head, and Shop Class as Soul Craft. He attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he majored in physics. He earned a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago, specializing in ancient political thought.

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