Imagine you are a member of a spa town community whose spas are the principal source of income. It comes to your realisation that the water in these health baths is contaminated and could harm the health of their patrons. What would you do? Call for an urgent closure of these baths or suppress the information in the economic interests of your community?
Using the moral dilemma that confronts the central character Dr Stockmann in Henrik Ibsens 19th century play An Enemy of the People, lecturer Dr Melvin Chen explores idealism, integrity and the individual in this public lecture. Situating the discussion within the context of Ibsens oeuvre, Dr Chen delves into how the Norwegians plays put our ideals to the litmus test, and argues for a renewed sense of both the value of ideals and the complexity of the world in which we seek to realise them.
A philosophy lecturer who also writes poetry and paints, Dr Chen is a faculty member of the University Scholars Programme at Nanyang Technological University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from the National University of Singapore, a Masters in Philosophy in Ibsen Studies from the University of Oslo, and a PhD in Philosophy from Cardiff University.
Photo credit: Melvin Chen