Professor Ken Burak will explore an overarching feature of our society -- perhaps of any society, actual or possible, secular or religious -- namely, rewards and punishments, what psychologists call Extrinsic Motivation. A society that gets its participants to do what it wants them to do (learn, work, follow its rules...) through the use of bribes (rewards) and threats (punishments), whether meted out by gods or parents, priests or teachers, police or employers, is a society that runs on, is fueled by, fear. It seems both inevitable and perhaps necessary. The 2001 Disney movie Monsters, Inc. is worth analyzing in this regard, both because it creates a society that literally, materially runs on the fuel of fear, but also because it offers us a challenge: what if a society that runs on joy and love, rather than fear and coercion, is not only possible, but actually more productive of the things we want?
Ken Burak, is a Full Professor of Philosophy at Northampton Community College, and a Visiting Faculty Member at Lehigh University. He received a PhD in Philosophy from DePaul University, a Masters in Philosophy from Katholeike Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and a BA in Philosophy from Penn State University. He is the author of Logic and Resistance: Reading Hegel in the Age of the War on Terrorism and the Chapter "Help! My Philosophy Teacher Made Me Touch My Toes!" in Yoga for Everyone: Bending Mind and Body.
10:30 a.m. - Coffee & Conversation
11:00 a.m. - Announcements & Preshow Presenation
11:20 a.m. - Featured Presenter Ken Burak (Q&A to follow)
12:30 p.m. - Lunch for those who wish to stay
We will be "lunching in" this month. If you'd like to stay and join us, please feel free to bring your own food or bring cash to participate in our delivery order from Manhattan Deli.
522 W Maple St
Allentown, PA 18101
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