What we're about
Did you take a philosophy class in high school or college and wish you had taken more? Do you read philosophy texts independently but have no one to discuss them with? Then this group is for you.
The History of Philosophy Boston Meetup is for anyone with an interest in having in-depth discussions about Western/Eastern philosophy, intellectual history, critical theory and more. All backgrounds are welcome! Whether you have a doctorate in the field or are completely self-taught, this group seeks members with an appetite for reading, analyzing and discussing philosophical texts.
This group will center discussions around a single book by a single author. Potential philosophers will include Plato, Averroes, Confucius, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Sartre, Arendt, Rawls, Foucault, and Hume. Many of these philosophers are considered “canonical” (mostly to the Western tradition) but this group is open to including lesser known authors from any culture. To keep things in historical context, we will try to read authors in chronological order.
We currently have a tentative reading list (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NpH48Algm1b4Can7OFNsi4_oxc2K2imMCJiZAlMnG4s/edit?usp=sharing), which is subject to change depending on the expressed interests of the group.
We typically meet in the 4th floor lobby of the Julius Adams Stratton Student Center at MIT. Detailed instructions to our exact meeting spot can be found here (https://www.meetup.com/Boston-History-of-Philosophy/photos/27278903/458598986/).
Tips in Preparing for Meetings
After you have finished the reading, ask yourself: (1) What are the philosopher’s principal ideas? (2) What arguments are used to support them, and are they strong or weak? (3) Who were the author’s major influences, and whom in turn did he/she influence? (4) What was the historical context in which the author wrote, and did this affect what was said? (5) Are the author’s works still relevant today and, if so, how?
To help in answering these questions, attendees are encouraged to consult the secondary resources posted in each announcement. Wikipedia, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy are especially useful.
Rules of Conduct at Meetings
Avoid monopolizing the conversation;
Stay on topic;
Challenging arguments and disputing facts are fine; personal attacks are not;
Read least 50% of the recommended selections.