At what point does a conversation become a battle? Why do some opinions inflame our emotions, leading to anger, fights, and even the end of relationships with family and friends?
Philosopher David E. Smith takes a deep look at those moments when civility breaks down. By mapping the structure of how we converse, and digging into the root causes of both civility and incivility, Smith explores how we can have meaningful, respectful conversations on notoriously difficult topics like politics, religion, and morality. In our increasingly polarized political environment, Smith provides participants with the tools needed to embark upon more thoughtful, fruitful discussions.
David Smith holds a PhD in religious studies from Temple University. For the past decade he has held roles as a lecturer, assistant professor, and associate professor of philosophy and religious studies. He currently teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington and frequently gives lectures in libraries, community centers, and retirement centers.
Smith lives on Harstine Island.
About Speakers Bureau Events
Speakers Bureau talks are free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, and everything in between. Humanities Washington’s roster of presenters are professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. All talks are free and open to the public, and each lasts about an hour. They are hosted through a wide range of organizations throughout Washington State.