Lorraine Daston - "Against Nature" - Gabriel Richardson Lear

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Lorraine Daston

"Lorraine Daston poses an insightful question: Why have human beings persisted in trying to read the moral order from the order of nature? In elegant prose, wearing learning lightly, she offers a fascinating historical tour and a deft philosophical analysis, arriving at an original and brilliant answer."––Philip Kitcher, John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Lorraine Daston discusses Against Nature in conversation with Gabriel Richardson Lear. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: In this short, pithy work of philosophical anthropology, Lorraine Daston asks why we continually seek moral orders in natural orders, despite so much good counsel to the contrary. She outlines three specific forms of natural order in the Western philosophical tradition—specific natures, local natures, and universal natural laws—and describes how each of these three natural orders has been used to define and oppose a distinctive form of the unnatural.

About the author: Lorraine Daston is Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is the coauthor (with Katharine Park) of Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150–1750 and (with Peter Galison) Objectivity and the editor of Things that Talk: Object Lessons from Art and Science, all three published by Zone Books. 

About the interlocutor: Gabriel Richardson Lear (Professor of Philosophy) works on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Her book, Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Princeton, 2004), is about the relationship between morally virtuous action and theoretical contemplation in the happiest life. She is currently writing about Plato's aesthetics and about the status of beauty as an ethical concept in the work of several philosophers. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Princeton University (2001).

Event Location: 
The Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637