The Necessity of Goodness

Nov 5 2014 4:30pm
Classics 110
1010 E 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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RĂ©mi Brague

Sorbonne, Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich

Rémi Brague (Sorbonne/University of Munich)

cosponsored by the France Chicago Center at the University of Chicago

We commonly conceive of the Good as being what we should do, sharing Aristotle’s rejection of Plato’s Idea of the Good and his reduction of the good to what can be done by a free subject. Since this subject is a human being, it must first come to be by being born, a process in which we don’t “do” anything and are radically non-free. To what extent can we call this process “good”? If not, we cannot  ensure the perpetuation of humankind. Should humankind go on existing, and doing that for solid reasons, we will have to rehabilitate something like the Idea of the Good.

“Rémi Brague is one of the few scholars alive who is equally an expert on medieval Arabic, Jewish, and Latin philosophy (as well as on ancient Greek philosophy). He is an extraordinary linguist in both ancient and modern languages, which enables a truly subtle analysis of texts and ideas.”
—Kent Emery, Jr. (Professor of Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame)

Rémi Brague is Professor Emeritus of Arabic and Religious Philosophy at the Sorbonne and Romano Guardini Chair of Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich. In 2012, he was awarded the Ratzinger Prize for Theology. He is author of numerous books on classical and medieval culture, religion, literature, and law, includingEccentric Culture: A Theory of Western Civilization and Law of God: The Philosophical History of an Idea.