The Tucson Philosophy Group Message Board › Thoughts on Philosophical Discussions
|A former member||
In addition to the links I sent Ross, here's an interesting link that has some valuable suggestions for philosophical discussion groups like this meetup: http://www.philosophy...
Someone here mentioned that people tend to fall into old patterns of arguing or discounting the views of others. It seems like it's easier for that to happen when people are attempting to discuss a reading they haven't actually read. Instead of being a discussion of the ideas as presented in the reading, it becomes a discussion of opinions about the general topic or about impressions of people think the reading might be about. If people have had a chance to do the reading and to give some thought to the arguments the philosopher is making, then it's easier for the group discussion to stay on topic. Just my two cents. I'm as guilty as anyone of not having done the readings in advance. But I think the group's discussions become more meaningful as well as more fun when members read in advance the piece and consciously aim for open, respectful, and receptive exchange of ideas and thoughts.
In a nutshell, below are some of the suggestions the article makes:
Do the assigned reading
Consider the context - Philosophical writing, like literature of any genre, arises from a concrete historical setting. Approaching each text, you should keep in mind who wrote it, when and where it was published, for what audience it was originally intended, what purposes it was supposed to achieve, and how it has been received by the philosophical and general communities since its appearance...
Take your time
Careful reading cannot be rushed; you should allow plenty of time for a leisurely perusal of the material assigned each day...
Spot crucial passages
Identify central theses
Locate supportive arguments
Anyway, it's just food for thought. Feel free to share your thoughts on the topic or any other relevant links!