Bj?rklunden Seminars Focus on Philosophy and the Third Reich

From Aug. 2 – 7, Lawrence University’s Björklunden is offering these seminars: “What is There?…and Why?” with Terry Goode and “The Third Reich Through German Eyes” with Geoff Bakewell.

The central philosophical problem of Western ontology is the question, what is there? Multiple answers have been proposed – this class will explore the most important of these: Monism (there is only one thing – substance), Dualism (there are only two things – body and mind), Pluralism (there are many things, perhaps an infinite number) and Idealism (there is nothing – except ideas). After this review, a much more difficult ontological question will be raised: why is there something rather than nothing? Prior background in philosophy or science is not required.

Goode received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Wayne State University, and has taught at the University of South Carolina, University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, and UW-Oshkosh. During the winter, he regularly teaches philosophy classes at The Clearing Folk School.

Victor Klemperer’s I Will Bear Witness: A Diary of the Nazi Years has been hailed as “the best written, most evocative, most observant record of daily life in the Third Reich.” The author was many things: son of a rabbi, WWI soldier, convert to Protestantism, university professor, and husband of an “Aryan.” Classified as a Jew, he nevertheless insisted on his identity as a German and risked his life to record what was happening to and around him.

The class will discuss selected entries, using photographs, film clips, and other sources to establish the broader context for this intensely personal account of everyday life under history’s most notorious regime.

Bakewell received a B.A. in history from Yale University and a Ph.D. in classical philology from Brown University. His latest book is Aeschylus’s Suppliant Women: The Tragedy of Immigration.

Seminar classes are held at Björklunden’s lodge, just south of Baileys Harbor, and meet weekday mornings and some evenings. Each seminar includes meals prepared by Björklunden’s resident chef. For complete course descriptions, fees, and registration dates call 920.839.2216, email [email protected] or visit