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This group is for people who want to talk about outstanding writings in history, literature, philosophy, politics, science, theology, and other disciplines. We focus on works that have stood the test of time because they speak to ideas people find perennially compelling: the nature of justice, the ways of love, the meaning of truth, and the experience of beauty, among others.

We use an approach to discussion called Shared Inquiry, which follows a few simple guidelines designed to make a discussion more rewarding by keeping the group’s attention focused firmly on the text and its interpretation.  The guidelines are listed below.

Participants may join the group at any time.  Just read the selection and come to the meeting.  All readings are contained in a two-volume paperback set entitled The Great Books Reading and Discussion Program, First Series, available from the Great Books Foundation. 

If you order the set of books from the Great Books Foundation, be sure to purchase the Great Books Reading & Discussion Program, First Series,NOT the Introduction to Great Books Series.  The link you want is http://store.greatbooks.org/colleges-book-groups/great-books/adu-01.html.

The 2016-2017 schedule is as follows:

September 12  Startup Meeting

September 26  Rothschild’s Fiddle -AntonChekhov*

October 10  On Happiness -Aristotle*

October 24  The Apology -Plato*

November 14  Heart of Darkness -JosephConrad*

November 28  Conscience -ImmanuelKant

December 12  Alienated Labor -Karl Marx

December 26  Holiday Break

January 9   Genesis -Bible

January 23  Civilization and It’s Discontents -SigmundFreud

 February 13  The Social Contract -Jean-JacquesRousseau

February 27  The Moral Sense of Man and the Lower Animals 

Charles Darwin

March 13  NO MEETING (read Othello!)

March 27  Othello -WilliamShakespeare*

April 10  On Justice and Injustice -DavidHume

April 24  The Power of the Majority -Alexis de Tocqueville

May 8  Individual Freedom -GeorgSimmel

May 22  Antigone - Sophocles*

*Indicates complete work.

GUIDELINES FOR SHARED INQUIRY DISCUSSIONS

1.  Read the selection carefully before participating in the discussion.  This ensures that all participants are equally prepared to talk about the ideas in the work.  Only those who have read the selection should participate in the discussion.

2.  Support your ideas with evidence from the text.  This keeps the discussion focused on understanding the selection and enables the group to weigh textual support for different interpretations.

3.  Discuss the ideas in the selection and try to understand them fully before exploring issues that go beyond the selection. Reflecting on the ideas in the text and the evidence to support them makes the exploration of related issues more productive.  We will allow outside sources and ideas to be discussed the last 30 minutes of the meeting.

4.  Listen to other participants respectfully and respond to them directly.  Directing your comments and questions to other group members, not always to the leader, will make the discussion livelier and more dynamic.

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Founded May 24, 2016

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