Dr. Kiki Berk is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southern New Hampshire University. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the VU University Amsterdam in 2010. Her current research interests include value theory (especially happiness), analytic existentialism (especially the meaning of life), and the philosophy of death.
Open Questions is a series of thought-provoking community conversations presented by New Hampshire Humanities. This series explores essential questions about meaning and life that are important to Granite Staters. Each program is facilitated by philosophy professors who will explore essential questions about meaning and life.
"Should We Fear Death?" is facilitated by Dr. Kiki Berk.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading How to be Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life by Massimo Pigliucci. Stoicism is an ancient yet extraordinarily relevant practical philosophy that is aimed a living a good life. This book explains what Stoicism as a way of life looks like and how it makes us flourish.
Whenever we worry about what to eat, how to love, or simply how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal is more elusive. In How to Be a Stoic, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the best way to attain it. Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that focuses our attention on what is possible and gives us perspective on what is unimportant. By understanding Stoicism, we can learn to answer crucial questions: Should we get married or divorced? How should we handle our money in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis? How can we survive great personal tragedy? Whoever we are, Stoicism has something for us—and How to Be a Stoic is the essential guide.
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE THE BOOK PRIOR TO DISCUSSION.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading Life is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way by Kieran Setiya.
There is no cure for the human condition: life is hard. But Kieran Setiya believes philosophy can help. He offers us a map for navigating rough terrain, from personal trauma to the injustice and absurdity of the world.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson.
Science fiction meets climate change.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading "Stoner," by John Williams. Stoner is "The Greatest American Novel You've Never Heard Of" according to The New Yorker. It's a painful yet thought-provoking read that raises the question of what constitutes a good life.
William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.
John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.
As part of New Hampshire Humanities' Perspectives Book Groups, we're reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. The story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a twenty-first- century scientific mission to a newly discovered extraterrestrial culture.
A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.
New Hampshire Humanities programs are made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this these programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or New Hampshire Humanities.