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Facts, Fiction and Philosophy

LSE Arts public exhibition

Date: Monday 21 January - Saturday 2 March 2013
Time: Monday-Friday, 10am-8pm
Venue:  Atrium Gallery, Old Building

RERUM COGNOSCERE CAUSAS.  The intimate link between philosophy and the arts is nowhere better demonstrated than in the LSE’s own Latin motto, drawn from a line by the great Roman epic poet Virgil (70-19 B.C.). The line in full reads ‘felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas’ – ‘happy is he who has been able to discover the causes of things’, a tribute to the philosopher of the same period Lucretius, who wrote, not as we would expect of a philosopher today, in prose, but, like Virgil, in verse. Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura ‘On the Nature of Things’ was a major text of the Epicurean school of philosophy, which flourished in the first century B.C.

While there might be no philosophical texts conceived in verse in the twenty-first century, as recently as the end of the nineteenth century, Friedrich Nietzsche was as well known for his poetry as for his philosophical works in prose, and in the twentieth century two of the seminal figures of existentialism, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, produced both purely philosophical treatises as well as plays and novels. This exhibition argues that literature and philosophy have been inextricably intertwined from the ancient world through to the present day.

Presented by the LSE Language Centre with a key contribution from the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. Generously supported by the LSE Annual Fund. There will be an evening celebration| of the exhibition on 19 February.

This exhibition is open to all, no ticket required. Visitors are welcome during weekdays (Monday - Friday) between 10am and 8pm (excluding bank holidays, when the school is closed at Christmas and Easter or unless otherwise stated on the web listing). For further information email arts@lse.ac.uk| or phone on 020 7107 5342. 

Just economics and politics? Think again.  While LSE does not teach arts or music, there is a vibrant cultural side to the School - from weekly free music concerts in the Shaw Library, and an LSE orchestra and choir with their own professional conductors, various film, art and photographic student societies, the annual LSE photo prize competition, the LSE Literary Festival and artist-in-residence projects. For more information please view the  LSE Arts| website. 

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