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Complexity and the Art of Living Well
Instructor: Peter Whitkop
Thursdays • 8 classes – 9/22-11/10 • 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Class size 5-20 students
7 seats remaining
Location: Jewett 185
The ancient Greek Stoic philosopher’s motto was “live according to nature”. The Stoics realized that good life outcomes tended to result when people lived in alignment not only with their innate human traits, but in harmony with nature as well. This course explores how we might “live according to nature”.
We will discover that humans are embedded in a world that science describes as a complex system. We will explore their properties and discuss how we might interact with them in a manner that aids our goal of living a fulfilling human life. A particular emphasis will be placed on the mysterious aspects of complex systems. Mystery is the foundation of wonder, which drives the human need for creative expression.
The scientific topics will be addressed at an introductory college level and will be free of mathematical detail. The course book, Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth, will form the bridge between science and its practical application to living well.
PLEASE NOTE: Based on student feedback from last fall’s course “Complexity: Science in Service to the Soul”, this new course uses science as a practical guide to effective personal choices and has considerably less mathematical detail.
- Course Background
- Who were the Greek Stoic philosophers?
- What is Hermetic philosophy
- Ancient Views on the Structure of the World
- Huston Smith’s Forgotten Truth –
the intersection of mind and matter
in the Cosmos
Peter Whitkop holds a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of Maine. He has worked in various capacities at Cornell University and DuPont’s Savannah River Laboratory. After returning to Maine, he was an adjunct faculty member in the chemistry department at UMaine, where he researched confined quantum systems and taught courses in analytical chemistry and quantum mechanics. Over the past several years, he has been engaged in a course of individual study that helped guide the development of this course.
COVID REQUIREMENTS: Masks are required in classrooms, unless waived by the instructor. We recommend carrying a mask at all times while on the campus to use as needed.