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Toward an Ecological Ethic of the Beloved Community
Featuring Olav Smith
Ethics is social by nature. A progressive ethic must be inspired by the ideals of social and ecological justice. Alfred North Whitehead, not particularly known for working in ethics, consciously provided a metaphysical groundwork for a beautiful and moral life that could lead to peace. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps the most important ethical voice of the twentieth-century, often spoke of that ideal as The Beloved Community. That term comes from Josiah Royce. Royce's Philosophy of The Beloved Community has recently experienced a resurgence of interest, and deserves attention as someone who provides a unique insight into thinking about process and ethics. This presentation is on the complementary nature of the work of Whitehead, King, and Royce, and the importance of their work in developing not only an ethics of human community, but also the basis of an ecological ethics of universal community.
About the Lecturer: Olav Bryant Smith is the author of Myths of the Self: Narrative Identity and Postmodern Metaphysics (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2004). Smith has taught since 2000 at California State University, Chico, and Butte College. He completed his doctorate in philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate University in 2001. With his wife, Tara, he created and edited Empirical Magazine, which was an international publication dedicated to progressive politics, fine writing, beautiful photography, and the advancement of process and radically empirical philosophy. Empirical was selected as one of "The Ten Best New Magazines of 2012" by the Library Journal.