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Reading for September meetup - please cast your vote now!

From: Amy
Sent on: Thursday, July 23, 2009 2:09 PM

Hi Everyone,

First of all, welcome to all the new members of the Thinkers' Club. It seems like we have quite a few interesting individuals who have joined the meetup site within the last couple months, and I apologize for not sending out this message sooner. We are glad to have you and look forward to hearing your contributions at our upcoming meetups!

As a reminder, we will discuss Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital at our August 5th meetup at the Twinsburg Library.

The next order of business to discuss is voting for the book we will discuss at the September meetup. Please visit the Thinker's Club page on meetup, go to "polls" on the left hand side of the screen, respond to my poll "what should we read for the September meetup." I was not able to fit a description of the three works I suggested on the poll, so here is a description for you that may help you to decide which one seems most interesting to you:

1) Democracy and Education (John Dewey) - In this landmark work on public education, Dewey discusses methods of providing quality public education in a democratic society. First published close to 90 years ago, it sounded the call for a revolution in education, stressing growth, experience, and activity as factors that promote a democratic character in students.

2) The Variaties of Religious Experience, A Study of Human Nature (William James) - James offers a sense of validity to the formerly abstract idea of spiritual experience. With an understanding of physiology, psychology, and philosophy, James studied cases of religious inspiration and concluded there were specific aspects of human consciousness that contained energies that could come to a person?s assistance in time of great need. The result is what he refers to as the religious experience. Trained in chemistry and medicine, James looks at religious experience as a scientist.

3) Art as Experience (John Dewey) - Dewey's theory is an attempt to shift the understandings of what is important and characteristic about the art process from its physical manifestations in the ?expressive object? to the process in its entirety, a process whose fundamental element is no longer the material ?work of art? but rather the development of an ?experience? (something that personally affects your life). This is a dramatic expansion of the bounds of aesthetic philosophy, for it demonstrates the connections of art with everyday experience and in so doing reminds us of the highest responsibilities that art and society and the individual have always owed to each other.

Please vote! I personally would be delighted to read all three of these books.

See you all soon,


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