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Intercollegiate Studies Institute

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Old Main, USU


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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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USU Philosophy was well represented at the “The Roots of American Constitutionalism” – Intercollegiate Studies Institute conference over the weekend.  We spent the weekend discussing federalism and anti-federalism, as well as what must lie behind constitutional order (virtue, liberal education, etc).

ISI is dedicated to a robust investigation of the core ideas and great books that are behind the American founding and western civilization more generally, the sort of thing one is unlikely to get at universities today.  It is intellectually conservative in bent, but is a big tent and encourages dissent (several times throughout the conference, faculty implored students to disagree with them).  ISI has chapters across the country, including our new ISI “CS Lewis Society” chapter.  We do book clubs and discussions locally (books and dinners provided by ISI), and then students can take advantage of all expense paid conferences and honors programs that focus on great ideas and leadership (networking, etc) — typically at really nice hotels with exceptional faculty (myself excluded).  Contact Dr Kleiner if you are interested.

Our esteemed group from this weekend, from left to right: Catherina Aust, Richard Sherlock, Gavin Mill, Jennifer Burris, Jonathan Toronto, Millie Tullis, Chase Robbins, Taylor Wyatt, Harrison Kleiner, Emma Wright



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