The Saint Socrates Society morphed into the CHASS Reading group, “What is an Educated Person?”. But I wanted the Saint Socrates Society to live on in some way, so it shall. It will return to what it was in the beginning — I have a few books I am interested in reading, any students who share that interest are welcome to join me to discuss them.
Nothing formal, and no meeting times or anything like that are set yet. My hope would be to have a group of broadly like-minded people who are philosophically informed. It is good to argue “first things” and to do philosophy with people who do not agree with you. I do plenty of that, as I am sure we all do. But it is not always good to do so. Sometimes one should do “philosophy with friends”. If you never have any shared “givens”, you can never move beyond the first questions. So with this group I am not interested in using this time to argue over what map to use. I’d like to use this time to talk to people about where to go assuming we all have the same map (we roughly agree on the basic landscape). This is not terribly exclusionary. For example, one student who is planning on joining me is an atheist but shares my sympathy with Aristotelian philosophy.
The theme this term is modernity and politics – to what extent can the political thought of modernity be appropriated by something like an Aristotelian tradition or, more specifically, Catholic social thought (be it Augustinian or Aristotelian)? We will read three books.
The Malaise of Modernity by Charles Taylor
The Way of Life: John Paul II and the Challenge of Liberal Modernity by Carson Holloway
The Social and Political Thought of Benedict XVI by Thomas Rourke
If you are interested in joining us, send me an email.