Last month, on the eve of his 80th birthday, the philosopher Frederick Ferré died. Many people are teachers or students of philosophy, few make the transition to the eminence of "philosopher." More than that, Dr. Ferré lived the life one hopes for and rarely sees in a philosopher. He was kind, engaged, open, intelligent, imaginative and always learning. In his three books on western philosophy, he effectively started with the Big Bang and worked his way to the future. He provided a set of tools to help each of us to live more valuable lives. He loved living his life and did all he could to help others live as fully as he. Dr. Ferré is very much present to us each day and we miss him greatly.
In late March of 2008, we basked in three days of conversation with Dr. Ferré. In this excerpt from the first of this group of programs, he leads us to a richer understanding of the worlds we inhabit: "At no place is there an absolute line between the dead and the living. ... The universe, in one sense, is alive. It is value creating." Dr. Ferré's view provides a deep understanding of humanity's role in a universal ecology.
Dr. Ferré has provided a magisterial summary of western philosophy in his three-volume series: Being and Value, Knowing and Value and Living and Value. In that same context he also presents his fully-formed philosophic view by which we may create our way into a future in which humans are creatively a part of our context ... the ecology of the universe. His Philosophy of Technology is a seminal work on the relationship between humans and their tools and is widely used as a textbook. Until his untimely death, Dr. Ferré and his wife, Barbara, a linguist, lived in Munich, Germany.
Elizabeth Strout won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Literature, she says, works for her the way religion works for others. It teaches us about ourselves and other people ... and how to live.
Ms. Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, a novel composed of a series of short stories, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Ms. Strout is also author of the national bestseller Abide with Me and of Amy and Isabelle. Both won major prizes. A finalist for both the PEN/Faulkner Award and England’s Orange Prize, Ms. Strout’s short stories have been published in magazines from The New Yorker to O: The Oprah Magazine. She grew up in Maine, is currently is on the MFA faculty of Queens University in Charlotte, NC, and lives with her family in New York City. Her latest novel is The Burgess Boys.
This Program with Elizabeth Strout will be here Sunday, June 1.
Paula's regular commentary is available on The Huffington Post. This has been a difficult year for some of our friends and colleagues. In addition to three guests whom we admired greatly, Anthony Lewis, Richie Havens and Richard Ben Cramer, we have lost our good friend Frederick Ferré, and now:
New Post added: April 29: Janos Starker
... I wonder if even Starker's most ardent admirers know that in choosing aspiring cellists who would have the unparalleled gift of his masterful teaching, he picked not "the best" (confident, he said, that the truly gifted would find their way) even though it was they who could further burnish his well deserved and outsized reputation. No, he chose those who were gifted enough and whom he felt sure he could help the most. ... (more)
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