In my work as a clergyman, I find myself going back to the great philosophers constantly -- the Greeks -- e.g., Plato, Aristotle, the Romans -- e.g. Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, and any modern thinkers whose thought is connected to the ancients - metaphysics, natural law, virtue, ethics, politics, etc.
We are coming back from a long hiatus, and are moving our meeting place to the Hub on Venice in Mar Vista. No formal background necessary. You don't have to do the readings to attend.
The main thing we ask for is the commitment to discuss in a rational and civil manner. Open to people across the political, philosophic and faith (or lack thereof) spectrum.
It does not matter if you are beginner or advanced student -- our focus is good, critical thinking skills (or the desire to cultivate them) and a commitment to rational, civil conversation. No ranting. If you are a beginner, you will probably want to observe the first few session before you start participating.
Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. We are gathering to study a text or idea. You are welcome to attend even you have not studied the text or don't have much background.
2. We don't spend much time doubting the axioms of a given philosopher or thinker. We want to understand a teaching, not undermine it.
3. Our beginning point is that these texts and ideas can be read, understood and interpreted. We don't spend time doubting the axioms of textual interpretation.
If all this suits you, welcome to our study of great philosophic texts and ideas!