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596: The Great Conversation In the Age of Screeching

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Scott Hambrick is a home educating parent, entrepreneur, strength coach and the creator (Reader In Chief) of OnlineGreatBooks.com. He returns to discuss the power of questions in the Great Conversation, how to read philosophy, and what the hell is going on out there.

Can Philosophical Engagement Bring Serenity In the Current Year?

Scott and I run through some current events including Covington, AOC/Trump - I'm realizing the media has decayed faster than I have been able to keep up with it - how does this work fit into our current world? - How to maintain calm and rationality and in a hysterical irrational world - Prioritizing the pursuit of truth while so many are willing to abandon it

The Power of Questions

Scott discusses the role of the moderator in group discussions at Online Great Books. Good questions are open-ended. They are not pointed or leading. A good interlocutor asks honest questions and requests the same from the group, without attempting to teach or profess.

Some examples:
1. Why do people continue to read this book? There are lots of books from all periods of human history, but what makes thisbook so important? For instance, why is the Iliadand the Odysseyso seminal in Greek literature, instead of Prometheus Bound?
2. Why was this book written?
3. What can we learn about human nature from reading this book?
4. Has human nature changed since this book was written? Are people the same now as they were at the time of writing?
5. How did this book change the course of thought in history?

How To read Philosophy

What do these books still have to tell us in the 21st century? - discovering and understanding the hidden assumptions and biases of the author - Adler's childlike curiosity approach; bringing a blank slate mind to a text - why it's often better to avoid reading extensive biographies or commentaries on philosophers, before reading their works - We discuss Plato and his Seventh Letter as an example for this process

Join the Great Conversation!


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