Last Philosophers’ Circle of 2011, Tuesday Dec. 6th, 7 – 8:30 pm

       The next Philosopher’s Circle at Logos Books will be held Tuesday, Dec.  6th, from  7-8:30 pm.  We are doing the same topic as last month, as not enough people were able to get the readings beforehand.  Brian, who  prepared the topic, has generously photocopied the readings for you, and you may pick them up at Logos Books anytime over the next few weeks.  Please make an effort to come, as the circle needs a full complement of participants to be successful.

The discussion will center around the idea that our culture’s emphasis on the priority of Rational Thought in decision making and establishing knowledge may be problematic. Questions will stem from three works from very different interdisciplinary sources, and the readings are available now in a free reading packet available for pick up at Logos Books. There are 8 copies and one master copy, in case folks need to borrow it to make additional photocopies for themselves.

THREE ASSAULTS ON RATIONALITY

Much of modern thinking, including science, medicine and industry, aims at curbing irrational thoughts and beliefs with the purpose of bringing more of our lives under our the sway of rational reasoning. Several contemporary thinkers, however, have argued that this rationalizing approach to living is overemphasized to a dangerous degree within Western culture, to the point where the trend has become maladaptive or even crippling for the average person. Consider the following questions:

1.   Does our culture’s overvaluation of rational thought rob us of a spiritual understanding of our lives and the world? Reading: C.G. Jung’s “Phenomena of the Way: The Disintegration of Consciousness” (from Alchemical Studies, pp. 29-38)

2.   Does our culture’s overvaluation of rational thought rob us of connection with our own true will? Reading: Friedrich Nietzsche’s “The ‘Genius of the Species’” (from The Joyful Wisdom, pp 296-300)

3. Does our culture’s overvaluation of rational thought rob us of the spirit of creativity and vital living? Andre Breton’s “Manifesto of Surrealism” (from Surrealist Manifestos, pp 3-47)

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