Anna C. Lannstrom

Biography

Anna Lännström was born and raised in Sweden. Before she came to Stonehill, she studied and taught philosophy at Boston University and served as the assistant director for the university’s Institute for Philosophy and Religion.

Here at Stonehill, she chairs the philosophy department and teaches courses in ancient Greek philosophy, Asian philosophies, contemporary moral issues, and philosophy of religion as well as a learning community on yoga, mindfulness and Indian philosophy. Her research background is in ancient Greek philosophy, and she’s the author of Loving the Fine, a book on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics which argues that many of Aristotle’s ideas about how to live remains valid for us today. She has also published several articles on Socrates’ religion, arguing that we have misunderstood Athenian religion and that, once we understand it better, we’ll have to change the way we think of Socrates and his relationship to Athens.

More recently, Lännström’s research interests have shifted in a more practical direction. It has long troubled her that we treat philosophy as an abstract academic discipline, and she wants to return to the Socratic way of thinking where philosophy is an integral part of ordinary life. It also troubles her that Western philosophy frequently operates without input from ‘nonwestern’ traditions and from other disciplines like psychology and religious studies. And so, she asks: How can we broaden philosophy to include insights from other traditions and disciplines, and how will doing so change our understanding of ourselves and the world? How can we better integrate theory and practice, using philosophy to live better lives? This is a large project which she is only just starting, but here are highlights of her work so far:

  • Learning community which integrates the practice of yoga and mindfulness with the study of Indian philosophy
  • Blog for a nonacademic audience about how insights from philosophical traditions can help us handle the stresses and challenges of our contemporary lives .
  • Website with resources for philosophy faculty who would like to diversify their teaching by adding materials from outside the Western tradition.

Education

  • Ph.D., Boston University. Dissertation topic: Aristotle‚Äôs ethics
  • M.A., Boston University, Thesis Topic: Speaking about Brahman in Advaita Vedanta
  • B.A., English Writing and Philosophy, State University of New York at Potsdam. Summa Cum Laude.

Courses Taught

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Asian Philosophies
  • Yoga, Mindfulness and Indian Philosophy (learning community
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Asian Philosophies
  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Aristotle
  • Contemporary Moral Issues