The Columns

Philosophy Professor Lars Svendsen to Lecture in Questioning Passion Series

— by on January 4th, 2016

Lars Svendsen, professor of philosophy at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway, will lecture on Jan. 14, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons, as part of Washington and Lee University’s year-long Questioning Passion series.

Svendsen will speak on “Boredom and Meaning in Life.” His talk is free and open to the public.

In “A Philosophy of Boredom” (2005), Svendsen investigates one of the central preoccupations of our age by probing the nature of boredom, how it originated, how and why it afflicts us and why we cannot seem to overcome it by any act of will.

He is the author of 12 books, with six available in English, in addition to “A Philosophy of Boredom.” They include “A Philosophy of Freedom” (2014); “A Philosophy of Evil” (2010); “A Philosophy of Fear” (2008); and “Fashion: A Philosophy” (2006). A new book on loneliness has just been released in Norway. Svendsen’s books have been translated into 27 languages.

“Arguably understood as the absence of passion,” said Jeff Kosky, professor of religion, “boredom seemed to me and the other organizers of Questioning Passion an especially appropriate place from which to interrogate the significance of passion and the passions.

“We wanted to introduce a consideration of boredom into the Questioning Passion series’ ongoing conversation so we turned to Lars Svendsen. His writing displays a remarkable talent for bringing to a popular audience deep understandings of complicated philosophical and literary treatments of particular moods, including fear, loneliness, and most important to us, boredom.”