Leeds Salon hosts American philosopher and author Andrew Berstein discussing his latest book Heroes, Legends, Champions: Why Heroism Matters with regular salon speaker Nikos Sotirakopoulos of York St John University.
Heroes, Legends, Champions is not a self-help book. Its purpose is not to show us how to apply the lessons of a hero’s life in our own. Rather, it takes a theoretical look at what heroes are and why mankind needs them. It argues that before we can emulate heroes, we must properly identify them, we must understand who and what they are…. and what they are not.
For Berstein, this is a matter of life and death. Some persons, for example, at various times have considered as heroes the likes of Hitler, Stalin or Osama bin Laden. If we are to promote human life, it is necessary for us to clearly understand who people should be excluded from the echelon of heroes, and why.
So, what is the nature and definition of a hero? Can, in the right circumstances, everybody rise to heroic heights? Does heroism involve self-sacrifice or self-fulfilment? How do we respond to morally flawed heroes? How do we explain contemporary antihero mentality?
Heroes, Legends, Champions is a provocative first step toward understanding the nature of heroes that should spark a lively debate.