Kant was not content with such childlike apathy. As one of the Enlightenment's heralds, he championed "man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity." Centuries later, the success of the Enlightenment project can hardly be overestimated. Yet, even within liberal democracies, commitment to Enlightenment principles is now wavering. On the political left, so-called progressives blame the Enlightenment for the hegemony of capitalist exploitation, oppression of minorities, and the rise of oligarchy. On the right, so-called post-liberals blame the Enlightenment for the collapse of religion, family, and community. Above all, moral relativism and absolutism challenge us to reevaluate the Enlightenment and its foundations.
In partnership with The University of Texas at Austin’s Civitas Institute, UATX is proud to offer a one-week symposium to top graduate students and advanced undergraduates (i.e., current juniors and seniors) in all fields.
Through intensive study of foundational texts, students will study the Enlightenment’s theoretical framework as it emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries. Readings will include those by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In addition to a daily seminar and optional discussion sections, students will enjoy the opportunity to explore Austin through various events and activities.
Professor Stauffer's books are Plato's Introduction to the Question of Justice (SUNY, 2001), The Unity of Plato's Gorgias (Cambridge, 2006), and Hobbes's Kingdom of Light (Chicago, 2018). His articles have appeared in various journals, including the Review of Politics, the Journal of Politics, and the American Political Science Review.
Applicants must be currently enrolled graduate students (master's or doctorate), recently graduated from an undergraduate degree program, or currently enrolled undergraduate juniors or seniors.
Austin, TX: July 23-29, 2023
Participants must be at least 21 years old by the start of the program in order to apply. The program is designed for rising college seniors, current seniors, recently graduated students, and current graduate students (master's or doctorate).
No. Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens, but they must be proficient in the English language. At this time, UATX cannot provide assistance with visa applications.
Applicants must submit, in connection with their initial application, each of the following:\n 1) CV or résumé\n 2) Unofficial undergraduate transcript and, for graduate students, graduate school transcripts\n 3) Unofficial standardized test score record(s) -- e.g., SAT, ACT, GRE, or LSAT (applicants without scores must explain why)\n 4) Statement of purpose (500 word limit)\n 5) Writing sample (no page limit)\n In addition, a liability waiver is required to matriculate into the program.
8:00 - 10:00 AM Reading time and breakfast\n 10:00 - 12:30 PM Seminar\n 12:30 - 1:30 PM Lunch\n 1:30 - 2:30 PM Optional Discussion Section / Break\n 2:30 - 6:30 PM Outings to Austin\n 6:30 - 8:30 PM Dinner\n 8:30 - 10:30 PM After Dinner Fellowship\n Participants will be required to prepare for each day’s lessons in advance (e.g., by completing pre-readings).
No. Our program is not a credit-bearing or degree program. Students may not earn continuing education credits, credit hours, or a diploma for participation in this program.
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Our distinctive undergraduate curriculum will combine the rich and varied inheritance of the past with the most compelling ideas of the present to help students see things whole, form sound judgment, and translate knowing into doing and making. Students will train with the world’s leading scholars and innovators, while creating and building with purpose.
UATX prepares thoughtful and ethical innovators, builders, leaders, public servants and citizens through open inquiry and civil discourse. Our commitment to the pursuit of truth arises from our confidence that the nature of reality can be discerned, albeit incompletely, by those who seek to understand it, and from our belief that the quest to know, though unending, is an ennobling, liberating, and productive endeavor.
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