The Little Prince as an introduction to philosophy
One UNIV, One Book
1. Often at conferences, as well as on many college campuses, students leave not havingexperienced what is the stated goal of many campuses and universities, to engage students, faculty, and administrators in a common intellectual conversation. One way to overcome this difficulty is to encourage students and faculty to read one book that could be the starting point of a common conversation. And so, we have inaugurated and continued with the event : “One UNIV, One Book.”
2. This year, students and professors will read a short book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince. While seemingly a fascinating children’s book, there are signs internal to the book itself and from the life of the author that the work is actually an introduction to the questions of contemporary philosophy, its defects along with potential sources of resolving its unsolved problems. In this workshop, the presenter will give a brief introduction to the book, and then we will have a vigorous discussion on whatever ideas are most compelling from the book. One idea that seems very important is what methods can be used to get to the truth when we find ourselves at an impasse between competing ways of life, for example, the practical rationalism of the adults as opposed to the unexplainable insights of a young artist ?
3. The activity will take place during the UNIV Forum in Rome, on Tuesday, 15 April.
4. Direct any questions to Jeffrey Langan, Ph.D, at email@example.com