Philosophy expert to discuss Olympics and peace

Heather ReidHeather Reid, associate professor of philosophy at Morningside College, will present “Olympic Sport and its Lessons for Peace,” Monday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall at Linfield College.

Reid will discuss the differences between the ancient Olympic Games, in which victory was imagined as a visit from the goddess Nike, and the modern Olympics, where victory typically means endorsement deals from the company Nike. According to Reid, modern society can learn from the ancient association between Olympic Games and peace because that association derives not only from mythology and rhetoric, but also from particular, and perhaps unexpected, effects of athletic competition itself. Olympic sport taught the ancient Hellenes about peace by incorporating philosophical aspects of peace as setting aside conflict, treating others as equals and developing community spirit.

Reid has taught philosophy at Morningside since 1996, and received the college’s Sharon Walker Faculty Excellence Award in 2005. An expert on the philosophical foundations of the Olympic Games, she was elected president of the International Association for the Philosophy of Sport in 2005 and has presented her research at conferences in the United Kingdom and in Greece. She holds a bachelor’s in philosophy, English and literature from the University of Virginia and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Massachusetts.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE) at Linfield, designed to encourage the exchange of ideas across disciplines, promote civic engagement and pique intellectual curiosity through the exploration of thematic connections. This year’s PLACE theme is focused on “The Legacies of War.” For more information, contact Jesús Ilundáin-Agurruza, associate professor of philosophy, at, 503-883-2362.