Nashville Great Books Discussion Group

A reader's group devoted to the discussion of meaningful books.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Republic - Book 8

Discussion questions for Week 8:

1. In your opinion, does Socrates correctly identify the primary strengths and weaknesses of the different forms of government?

2. Does Socrates think that people form governments depending on their various desires, or does he believe that governments shape citizens to conform to the needs of the State?

3. What kind of government would Socrates say has been adopted by modern Americans? Would he approve or disapprove of it?

The Republic - Book 7

Discussion questions for week 7:

1. Does Socrates think the world around us is only a shadow of reality?

2. Should everyone study mathematics? What role does Socrates see mathematics playing in the educational process?

3.What is “dialectic” and why does Socrates place it at the top of his curriculum?

The Republic - Book 6

Discussion questions for Book 6:

1. Who should study philosophy?

a) Should it be a required subject in college? High school?
b) Should only graduate students in college be allowed to study philosophy?
c) Would society really be better off if no one studied philosophy?

2. Is philosophy really just some kind of verbal game?

Read the passage on page 152.

3. Does Socrates believe that most people (the majority) are bad? If so, why? (p. 155)

a) If people are already good, then why bother with the study of philosophy?
b) If people are bad, aren’t they the very ones who would profit from the study of philosophy?

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Republic - Book 5

Discussion questions for Book 5:

1. Does Socrates believe women should be treated just the same as men in
all matters?

2. Would having in common all mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers,
wives and husbands, make the State stronger, as Socrates maintains it
would do for the Guardian class?

3. Would society be better off if philosophers were in charge of things?