University of Louisville philosophy lecturer Brian Barnes led last night's discussion and did a fantastic job of it. Of course, even the greatest artist is powerless without a great medium in which to work - in this case, it's the folks who attended and participated. We had about 15 people show up, which may be a record.
I must admit that I was a bit concerned that the evening might be a too much like a college lecture but folks were highly engaged in the conversation and really made it a dialog. In fact, Brian mentioned how impressed he was with the group's participation, candor, and intellectual sophistication.
We've got a few more guest speakers in our future but no confirmed dates right now - I'll keep you apprised of updates.
Next week's topic is "Are citizens responsible for the actions of their leaders?" The more I think about this, the more I believe that this is really going to be a discussion about civic responsibility. - Do we have any civic responsibilities beyond paying taxes and obeying the law? - How do we instill the importance of civic responsibility into younger generations? - What responsibility do we have to know what our government representatives are doing (at the city, county,state and national levels)? - Is it really a civic duty to vote?
This would have been an appropriate topic for MLK Day...
You're invited to join our Socrates Cafe group here in Louisville. The short description of a Socrates Cafe is people getting together to ask philosophical questions with the purpose of (maybe) getting a better understanding of the topic, philosophical inquiry, and realizing our own preconceptions. The discussion begins by people proposing questions to discuss; we vote on which question to use and then simply talk about it. Some possible questions include: "what is evil", "what's the state of the American Dream", and "is the death penalty ethical".