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July 2-8, 2017 | Santa Fe, NM

What is it to be alive? Living beings appear to preserve themselves through change by breathing, eating, and striving against stagnation and natural forces. In seminar, we will begin with Aristotle’s account of what life is and then turn to Bergson and Jonas, who both explore biological “facts”. In laboratory, we’ll look carefully at life and ask exactly how living things differ from inanimate ones. In language, we will consider whether poets might be best able to help us understand life.

Summer Academy 2015

Classes and Readings


Aristotle, Parts of the Animals

Bergson, Creative Evolution

Jonas, The Phenomenon of Life


van Leuwenhoek, Hooke, Microscopy

Marais, Soul of the White Ant


Poems by Goethe, Frost, Auden, Milosz


Poetry writing, hiking, archery

Example activities

Take a tour of Historic Santa Fe Plaza and the Canyon Road art district

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 poetry writing, hiking, and archery. Off campus excursions will include a tour of the Santa Fe Historic Plaza and downtown museums and a walk through Canyon Road, Santa Fe’s art district.