What we're about

We will begin by discussing Discourses on Livy, reading and discussing approximately 6 chapters every 2 weeks. We will address such issues as his view of Christianity, the nature of his argument, his view of ancient virtues such as prudence, courage, and wisdom, and whether he favors one form of government over another. Some familiarity with his works is required; if you are also familiar with commentaries by Strauss, Rousseau, and others, that is a big plus. I understand that most people are familiar only with The Prince. That's fine, but keep in mind that this is only part of his thought and we will touch upon that work only as necessary.

The goal of the group sessions is to understand him as he understood himself, not from any "modern" perspective, i.e., positivism, existentialism, etc. If that is your interest, then I encourage you to find groups which focus upon modern philosophy.

Potential members are asked to complete a questionnaire to demonstrate constancy with the goals of the group and commitment to the reading assignments. Before asking to join the group, please ask yourself whether you will have time to do the reading. For instance, in this first year we anticipate reading Discourses on Livy (Mansfield & Tarcov trans.) which is 310 pages of sometimes intense reading. You will only get out of this reading group what you put into it - as in life itself - and failing to read may turn into a distraction for the group besides not being helpful for you as a participant.

Depending upon circumstances, we will hopefully be able to take turns leading discussions.

Thank you for your understanding.

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