Celebrated Series “A Pact With Reason” is Now Online

In the Summer of 2020, the Mercantile Library co-hosted “A Pact with Reason,” presented by Dr. Piers Bursill-Hall and co-sponsored by Dr. Zvi Biener and Dr. Terry Grundy. Bursill-Hall is a philosopher of science at Cambridge. His interests include the history of the development of math and science in Western societies. Grundy describes him as a “natural showman” who attracted a large, global audience, many of whom were not scientists or philosophers. The Mercantile Library reported one of the largest audiences they have had for an event. 

Conversations between Grundy and Bursill-Hall about  a “weakening fidelity to truth and reason” in society inspired the series. Despite the broad topic, they wanted to tell the story of Western civilization’s “Pact with Reason” and how it developed over the centuries. As Bursill-Hall wrapped up the 10-part series, the audience demanded—and even sponsored—a two-part encore expanding on the briefly, previously mentioned Galileo Affair.  

We are excited that this series is now available online

‘A Pact with Reason’ Online Lecture Series Starts July 16

Promotional image for A Pact with Reason, presented by Dr. Piers Bursill-Hall

Center Faculty Affiliate Zvi Biener is co-sponsoring A Pact With Reason, a series of ten free lectures by Dr. Piers Bursill-Hall of Cambridge University hosted by the Mercantile Library. The lectures will begin on Thursday, July 16, at 1:00 p.m. (EST) and continue weekly.

The lectures provide a dynamic overview of the rationalist, scientific tradition that has given human civilization some of its greatest triumphs but has also precipitated some of its greatest failures. The lectures are of timely importance since we see daily evidence that some are turning away from facts, science, and reason itself ­as the basis for structuring our everyday life and beliefs. This is a very dangerous turn of events and one that we need to combat vigorously. To do that, we need to understand our “pact with reason:” ­ how it emerged, the twists and turns it has taken for over two and a half millennia, and the place it has brought us to now in 2020. Those are the topics that will be covered in these ten lectures.

Piers Bursill-Hall is a highly regarded lecturer on the history and philosophy of science and mathematics at Cambridge University. His talks on the history of science, mathematics, and medicine are celebrated for their breadth of knowledge, insights, clarity, and wit.

You can register by emailing info@mercantilelibrary.com or at https://www.crowdcast.io/e/a-pact-with-reason-a/register. For more information, see: https://mercantilelibrary.com/calendar/a-pact-with-reason-a-lecture-series/2020-07-16/