Classical studies student presents paper at an international conference in Austria

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Alan J. Zaciek presented a paper titled "Understanding a Greek Tragedy" at the 39th International Wittgenstein Symposium held in the Austrian town of Kirchberg am Wechsel on August 12, 2016.

The theme of the six-day symposium was "Ästhetik heute Zeitgenössische Zugänge zur Ästhetik der Natur und der Künste" (Aesthetics Today: Contemporary Approaches to the Aesthetics of Nature and of Art). Given a 45 minute slot on the program, Mr. Zaciek  spoke to an audience of about 20 during which he examined three uses of the word "understanding" in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations (1953) and scrutinized Wittgenstein's question as to whether we can "understand a Greek tragedy."

Using an imagined performance of a Greek tragedy, his paper also examined Wittgenstein's thought that even if we can speak the language we may not understand a person from a strange country with strange customs.

Mr. Zaciek studied Greek tragedy (CLA 2200) with Professor Michele Valerie Ronnick in the autumn of 2015 and Professor Kenneth R. Walters, with whom Mr. Zaciek is studying ancient Greek, and gave him valuable advice on his work.

Besides reading and commenting on the paper, Professor Walters suggested that he practice reading it beforehand, and that during his actual session, that he should read it slowly since English was not the native language of many of the attendees. Mr. Zaciek's paper will be included in the contributions of the symposium.

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