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Dr. Martha Beck Speaks at Third Faculty Colloquium

On Friday, October 26, Dr. Marth Beck, professor of philosophy at Lyon College, presented the third faculty colloquium of the semester.

Her talk “Neuroscience, the Integration of Mind and Brain, and Developing a Philosophy of Life Today” covered some of the key ideas detailed in her recently published book, Looking for the Ancient Greeks: Damasio, Aristotle and Human Flourishing.

Beck specializes in Ancient Greece, its philosophers, and their teachings. In her talk, Beck used these ancient ideas to investigate and interpret modern ones, specifically those on the connections between the mind and body detailed by the neurosurgeon Antonio Damasio.

Beck takes Damasio’s idea of the mind and body and relates them back to ideas that the Greeks had centuries ago about the human condition and the balance humans seek.

This balance is defined as “flourishing,” and is described as a sort of “homeostasis” or “goal” that humans seek to obtain.

According to Beck, “Aristotle’s model of flourishing is activity of the soul in accordance with virtue; virtue just means that the creature is functioning at a high level biologically with biological criteria.”

Lyon College’s faculty colloquiums afford its scholars a unique opportunity to present their bodies of work and research to their colleagues. Beck expressed to her fellow teachers the excitement she finds in working at Lyon, saying, “The point is that you can come [to Lyon] and you can live out your dream. That’s what matters to me.”

Lyon’s professors not only live out their own dreams, but they help their students achieve theirs.