Flagstaff, Arizona was the world’s first community designated an International Dark Sky Place for its active efforts reduce light pollution and protect the visibility of the night sky. There are now over 130 dark-sky communities, places, and parks globally. Arizona alone has 17 dark-sky places, which is more than any other country in the world. Why is it so important that we protect our nighttime views of the starry sky? Why should we turn out the lights at night and can we learn to enjoy the darkness? This presentation will explore the importance of dark skies from a philosophical perspective. Some philosophers argue that the darkness of night is a gift that helps to restore our moral sense. We will discuss what connections can be found between darkness and the night sky with our sense of morality, our sense of who we are as human beings, and our understanding of our place in the universe.
This event is cohosted by Pima County Public Library – Oro Valley Library Branch. This is an in-person event.
Matthew has a Ph.D. in Philosophy and has taught environmental ethics, media ethics, and technology and human values at Northern Arizona University, Coconino Community College, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Matthew recently participated in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar on extending Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic.” He is co-founder of Sedona Philosophy, which offers guided hikes and retreats in Sedona and northern Arizona.