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Stay Tuned—2019 Sessions Coming Soon!

Courage & the Soul

June 24 – June 30, 2018 | Santa Fe, NM

In 480 BCE, at Thermopylae, three hundred Spartans, led by Leonidas, held off the massive Persian army for seven days, fighting to the death with “bare hands and teeth.” For the Ancient Greeks, the behavior of the Spartans was a paradigm of courage. But what is courage? In seminar, we explore this question through Herodotus’ account of Thermopylae; Plato’s dialogue Laches, where Socrates and his interlocutors ask about the nature of courage and how to teach it; and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, in which he argues that all human virtues depend on courage. In language, we read poetry by Dickinson, Whitman, and Eliot that pertain to courage. In laboratory, we take a biological look at courage, both in human beings and in animals.

SF Summer Academy 2017 Courage And The Soul

Classes and Readings


Herodotus, The Histories, excerpt

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, excerpt

Plato, Laches


Poetry by Dickinson, Eliot, and Whitman


Darwin, The Descent of Man, excerpt

Wilson, “The Morality of the Gene”, excerpt

Montaigne, “An Apology for Raymond Sebond”, excerpt

Lopez, Of Wolves and Men, excerpt

Lorenz, Man Meets Dog, excerpt


Example Workshops

Archery, yoga, pottery

Example activities

Visits to Lake Abiquiu and the Meow Wolf multi-media art installation

Summer Academy Sessions

Summer Academy in Santa Fe

The community formed among students is a natural extension of the friendships and ideas shared in the classroom. To further nurture a sense of community, Summer Academy students participate in non-academic workshops such as archery, pottery, yoga, and cooking.  Off campus excursions will include a refreshing visit to Lake Abiquiu and a tour of Meow Wolf’s immersive, multi-media arts installation.