Serious Larks: Celebrating the Life & Work of Ted Cohen

Saturday, April 7, 2018 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Daniel Herwitz & Sara Paretsky

Join us for a celebration of the life and work of Ted Cohen, the legendary professor of philosophy who taught at University of Chicago for nearly 50 years, on the occasion of the publication of Serious Larks: The Philosophy of Ted Cohen. Daniel Herwitz, who edited and wrote the introduction to Serious Larks, will join novelist Sara Paretsky in conversation about Ted Cohen and his work.

At the Co-op

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

About the book: Ted Cohen was an original and captivating essayist known for his inquisitive intelligence, wit, charm, and a deeply humane feel for life. For Cohen, writing was a way of discovering, and also celebrating, the depth and complexity of things overlooked by most professional philosophers and aestheticians—but not by most people. Whether writing about the rules of baseball, of driving, or of Kant’s Third Critique; about Hitchcock, ceramics, or jokes, Cohen proved that if you study the world with a bemused but honest attentiveness, you can find something to philosophize about more or less anywhere.

This collection, edited and introduced by philosopher Daniel Herwitz, brings together some of Cohen’s best work to capture the unique style that made Cohen one of the most beloved philosophers of his generation. Among the perceptive, engaging, and laugh-out-loud funny reflections on movies, sports, art, language, and life included here are Cohen’s classic papers on metaphor and his Pushcart Prize–winning essay on baseball, as well as memoir, fiction, and even poetry. Full of free-spirited inventiveness, these Serious Larks would be equally at home outside Thoreau’s cabin on the waters of Walden Pond as they are here, proving that intelligence, sensitivity, and good humor can be found in philosophical writing after all.

About Daniel Herwitz: Daniel Herwitz is Fredric Huetwell Professor of Comparative Literature, Philosophy and History of Art at the University of Michigan where for a decade he directed the Institute for the Humanities. Herwitz has published ten books including the award-winning Star as Icon (2008) and his first book, on the modern painter of India M.F. Husain, Husain, which won a National Book Award in India (1988). His most recent book, Aesthetics, Music and Politics in a Global Age, appeared courtesy of Bloomsbury Press in London appeared in January 2017. His short stories have appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review.

About Sara Paretsky: Sara Paretsky is the author most recently of Fallout. A prolific crime and mystery novelist, she received her PhD in history from the University of Chicago in 1977.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago 60637