MANCHESTER -- Philosophy scholar Susanne Claxton will discuss how self-examination contributes to a richer life in a talk at First Congregational Church in Manchester on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. Her talk, "The Examined Life," is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to all.

Touching on the famous proclamation from Socrates -- "The unexamined life is not worth living" -- Claxton will explore what constitutes the examined life and how we may best pursue it.

Claxton is a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy with expertise in ancient thought and existentialism, specifically Nietzsche, Heidegger and Plato. Her particular interest is the role of art and myth in ancient Greek thought, with an emphasis on the place and importance of the spiritual realm.

Upcoming Manchester talks include "Painting Ordinary People" with James Maroney, former head of American Paintings at Sotheby's and Christie's, on March 5; "100 Years since Triangle: The Fire That Seared a Nation's Conscience" with Dartmouth professor Annelise Orleck on April 2; and "Words We No Longer Use: A Study in Language and Culture" with Senior Rabbi Emeritus Dr. Ronald Sobel on May 7.

The Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May in nine communities statewide, with speakers of national and regional renown. Talks in Manchester are held at First Congregational Church and are hosted by Mark Skinner Library.

All First Wednesdays talks are free. The Vermont Department of Libraries underwrites them. "The Examined Life" is sponsored by Northshire Bookstore. Mark Skinner Library is sponsored by The Perfect Wife Restaurant and Tavern, The Spiral Press Café and Vermont Renewable Fuels.

Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters -- of every background and in every community. The Council strives to make Vermont a state in which every individual reads, participates in public affairs and continues to learn throughout life.

For more information, call Mark Skinner Library at (802) 362-2607 or the Vermont Humanities Council at (802) 262-2626, or visit www.vermonthumanities.org.