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Harry Kreisler: Conversations With History: Searching for Meaning in a Secular Age

August 19, 2011

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Series host Harry Kreisler interviews UC Berkeley’s Hubert Dreyfus and Harvard’s Sean Dorrance Kelly, Professors of Philosphy.


harry bio.jpgRecognizing the nerd in all of us, Guernica brings you Conversations with History, a video series of interviews with distinguished intellectuals conducted by creator and executive producer Harry Kreisler and produced by the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

In this week’s episode, Kreisler welcomes philosophy professors Hubert Dreyfus of Berkeley and Sean Dorrance Kelly of Harvard for a discussion of their book,All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age. Drawing on their reading of Western classics, Dreyfus and Kelly analyze how different epochs offered unique answers to the question of what is sacred and what can provide meaning for human existence. The conversation explores the examples of Homer, Jesus, and Melville to highlight differing paradigms of culture practice. Dreyfus and Kelly then trace the transition to the secular age in which nihilism prevails. They conclude by identifying how a sense of meaning and of the sacred emerges in situations such as heroism, athletics, and craftsmanship.

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Harry Kreisler is also the Executive Director of the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. In that role, he shapes, administers, and implements interdisciplinary academic and public affairs programs that analyze global issues.

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