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Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen: “Ultimate Questions, Incomplete Answers”
March 4, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
In his final essay in 1903, Herbert Spencer allowed himself to ask “ultimate questions” about the source and meaning of life. The famed materialist and atheist wondered why nonbelievers should be deprived of asking about the great “riddle of existence.” In this Focus on the Humanities lecture, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen examines why, beginning at the turn of the 20th century, an increasing number of American and European intellectuals were drawn to asking these questions. She probes their conclusion that ultimate questions are inescapable for living the examined life both in the context of their 20th-century world, and for us today.