Socratic Conversation: Why Do We Do the Right Thing? Thursday, 11/17, 4-5pm

Thursday, 11/17, 4-5pm


Inspired by Socrates' famous conversations with his friends in the marketplace of 5th century Athens, we engage in spirited discussions of ideas and issues. Socratic conversations range broadly and probe deeply into the basic challenges of life. They are informed by the latest literature for reference and follow up. While building a sense of community on campus, these meetings enliven the intellectual atmosphere and model dialogue and discussion as modes of inquiry.
    Why Do We Do the Right Thing? Thursday, 11/17, 4-5pm What are the bases for your learning and teaching how to do the right thing?
    • Conscience
    • Reason?
    • Science?
    • Emotions?
    • Religion?
    • Tradition?
    • Upbringing?
    • Education?
    • Law?
    • Honor?
    • Fear?
    • Biology?
    • Or...??
    We'll explore this together, informed by acclaimed new books like The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, by Sam Harris, and Ethical Wisdom, by Mark Matousek. Please join us to share your experiences, thoughts, and reflections.
    • How Do We Learn To Behave Ethically? Can We Teach It? Should We? How?
    • Can we learn how to make better ethical choices? Can we teach it? Should we? How?
  • "Singlism", Marriage, "Partnership", or...? What's the Right Choice for You?, Thursday, 11/3, 4-5pm
  • What are our options in long-term relationships today? How free are we to choose what suits us best - and how free should we be? Are our choices constrained by stereotyping and discrimination? "Singlism" is the label recently given to the pattern of prejudice and inequities against those who live solo, in books like, Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It; Even God Is Single (So Stop Giving Me a Head Time); and the just-published Is Marriage for White People? , exploring the reality and the consequences of the African American marriage decline. Discrimination against the unmarried, it has been shown, lurks in the workplace, the marketplace, the media, in advertising, religion, and pseudoscience, in our universities and professional societies, in laws and policies, and in our everyday lives. And what about Matrimania --the over-the-top hyping of marriage and coupling in American culture -- which put singles at additional disadvantage, risk,and sometimes misery. Please join us to share your experiences, thoughts, and reflections.
    • What choices for your long-term relationships have you made, or are you considering?
    • What are the positive and negative consequences of your chosen style?
    • Do these consequences affect your attitude towards choosing for yourself?
    • How do you feel about the issue of having children?
    • Do people who choose to be single suffer discriminatory treatment?
    Here's a short article highly relevant to this session: "In a Married World, Singles Struggle for Attention", by Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times, Sept. 20, 2011.
*** These highly-participatory conversations with fellow students are moderated by Ronald Gross, author of Socrates' Way and Co-chair of the University Seminar on Innovation in Education. They are part of a year long series of Socratic Conversations hosted by the Gottesman Libraries (see TC Today, Winter 2010, p. 65). Where: Second Floor Salon Next Session: Thursday, 12/8, Topic: What Does Democracy Mean to You? Reflecting on Zuccotti Park

Last Updated: 10:31 am, Monday, Oct 10 , 2011