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The Denver Philosophy Meetup Group Message Board › Philosophy Book Club

Philosophy Book Club

Group Organizer
Broomfield, CO
Post #: 1,371
I don't know. I've read enough books on all of the above subject matter.

Also I've attended enough courses in depth on the subject.

A book club theme really doesn't appeal to me.

And having to either guide a discusion on a book, or having to sit and re-listen to book summaries is theoretical fun to think of, but very boring to apply.
Jeanette M. N.
Denver, CO
Post #: 2,804
That's okay, Dan. The book discussions would be more for people who don't already know everything, anyway. tongue

But seriously, yeah, that's what I was talking about in my post, about people's knowledge being at different levels.
user 11051151
Denver, CO
Post #: 3
How's that different then when we talk without the focus of a book?
Jeanette M. N.
Denver, CO
Post #: 2,805
With the focus on the book we would all be on the same subject, instead of breaking up into groups based on what subject we liked and moving on to another discussion if we were bored by discussions that are too hard to follow or too simple to be interesting, or just not following a path we're enjoying.

Normally, people may start out kind of randomized, but find their own level on various topics through the course of the night, as well as figuring out which other members they find most interesting on which topics.

Book discussions typically smoosh everyone together, which can be interesting in its own way, although it can also be frustrating at times (especially in a group like this where not just the members but the subject matter itself can be pretty deep... or not so much).
Group Organizer
Broomfield, CO
Post #: 1,373
For several reasons Shakti.

Let us say the classic 'Plato's Republic' were to be the book covered as a topic.

First would be the history of this work, where it stands in relation to the Plato canon. Then a brief discussion of the historical context and 'what is Stephanus Pagnation' question concerning all the numbering in the book.

There would be an outline (albeit this outline is rather general and quite poor in detail without any citation) to cover over each of the ten books.

Then there would be several numerated arguments, and supporting texts from Plato himself, and many hundreds of other Scholars over the past 600 years of scholarly work on Plato.

By then one might choose several different themes to discuss from the book.


1.) Why does the Republic take place after a festival?

2.) Why did Plato always choose poor arguments to stand up to Socrates method?

3.) Why does Socrates not define 'what Justice is'?

4.) Is Utopia an actual city-state, or is it the composition of the soul?

5.) Why does Socrates wish to leave reason the tyrant over the passions and emotions?

6.) Could Thrasymachus' thesis that justice as the advantage to the stronger' been repaired to fit Socrates approval?

7.) What is the meaning of the allegory of the cave and the term 'conversion'?

8.) What is the 'noble lie' and why is it crucial for the philosopher-king?

9.) Why does it pay to be just? What does Socrates mean by 'good men cannot be harmed'?

I would think that I'd rather become bored by this time of trying to get through the book 'Plato's Republic'.

People attend seminars for years just to get through one out the ten books that composes Plato's Republic.

But that is not my problem with this idea. I would like to go to the Philosophy meetup to discuss philosophy, not to go there an attend a lecture, or be in a situation where I'd have to lecture on some book.

I attend this meeting because it is free flowing. I attend because I've read enough philosophy that I have no need to re-listen to the same ole arguments or lectures I've already attended and investigated thoroughly already.
Jeanette M. N.
Denver, CO
Post #: 2,806
I would hope that a book discussion wouldn't be a situation where someone would lecture the group, but that it would be like other book discussion groups, just a discussion that revolves around one topic, the book.
A former member
Post #: 980
If we have an open door policy then Dan can drop by whenever he's bored and we can ask him challenging questions like "Who is your hairdresser?"

Also, Dan, as you become ever better at philosophy, you will be a good teacher and can do experiments on us to see how fast we grok something.

I am thinking mid-month might be good, between the Merc meetings. Tuesdays and Thursdays are best for me but could also do other day if folks prefer.
Eric B.
Denver, CO
Post #: 649
Dan, we could call it 'Remedial Philosophy Book Club for Noobs, Dolts and Philistines' tongue

It sounds like the folks who are interested mostly want it between / outside of regular meetings and that sounds good to me. I'm a little concerned about what that's going to do to my already tight schedule, but I'm willing to see how it goes. If I get too stretched, perhaps an assistant organizer would emerge to lead that group...? Thus far, Thursdays are shaping up as better for me as well.

I'll be happy to implement the 'poll' feature of the website to help us determine the desire title by votes.

Should we have some kind of mechanism to make sure everyone who wants a copy of said title can get access to one somehow, or just rely on each person to handle it?

(I'm thinking we could restrict the selection to those available through online resources such as Librivox, the Gutenberg project or what have you - which might rule out more modern authors - unless we could get a sponsor to donate money or books - which means we could start a library of philosophical books - and then take over the world, Pinky).

Shakti came up with some good books / titles to start - should I use that as a poll, or do we want to narrow down from "Nietzsche", say, to some specific titles?

Tell you what - I'm going to post serveral new polls, if I can, around Book Club:

1) Desired day of week
2) Desired periodicity
3) Desired locale(s)
4) Desired first author (title to be determined next)
5) Limit to public domain books?

Jeanette M. N.
Denver, CO
Post #: 2,807
Ha-Ha! I voted "always Dave King's house" for the location. Though you do realize that popular vote alone couldn't determine that? (Unless you've rescinded Dave's veto power on that.) laughing

Also, it can be hard to get enough people together to have book discussions on a regular or semi-regular basis, especially if the books aren't available at the library.

Milne might be a better starting place that Nietzsche. wink
Denver, CO
Post #: 23
@Eric, you know better than to set up polls that don't include the option "What do you mean by X" or at least "Other". Call me an experimentalist, but why don't we just set up an initial meeting and let those interested enough in showing up work out what/where/when works best for them. Forums always seem to get more peanut gallery comments than commitment.

I don't see any reason for restricting the readings in advance either. The poll would sort out what interested people would accept.

Oh, and I nominate Dennett's "Freedom Evolves".

@Dan, perhaps if you've already mastered all of the philosophical issues in the writings suggested and find your superior intellect pulled down by the plebian attendees of the meetup you could either (a) start your own ubermensch philosophy bookclub meetup and restrict it to those who won't be bored by us philistines, or (b) not come. wink
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