Mon, 16 May 2022

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm BST

Nasty, Brutish, and Short – Adventures in Philosophy With Kids

Scott Hershovitz

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Kids are astoundingly good philosophers. And, if we let ourselves pause to think along with them, we might discover that we are, too.

Some of the best philosophers in the world can be found in the most unlikely places: in preschools and playgrounds. They gather to debate questions about metaphysics and morality, even though they’ve never heard the words, and can’t tie their shoelaces.

As a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan and father of two young sons, Scott Hershovitz knows there’s nothing childish about the way children think about the world. Inspired by conversations with his kids, Scott will guide us through the big questions of philosophy, answering questions like, do I have the right to drink Fanta? When is it okay to swear? And, does the number six exist?

He will explore weighty issues, like punishment and authority; sex, gender, and race; the nature of truth and knowledge; and the existence of God. And he will call on a host of professional philosophers, famous and obscure, to help them along the way.

Ultimately, he will demonstrate that we shouldn’t just support kids in their philosophical adventures: we should join them, so that we can rekindle our own innate, childlike wonder at the world. We’d all be better, more discerning thinkers for it.

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Scott Hershovitz

Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Michigan

Scott Hershovitz is Director of the Law and Ethics Program and Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Michigan. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Georgia; a JD from Yale Law School; and a DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; he also served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Hershovitz lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Julie, and their two children, Rex and Hank.