Nearly everyone I know loves to learn, but no one seems to love school. It's only the second week of classes, and already I'm finding myself tempted to dodge class readings for Not School ones. It doesn't help that Not School membership is only five bucks a month, while most college tuition rates are constantly gaining altitude. If there are any other disgruntled students out there, or really just anyone looking to hook up with a like-minded group of folks doing interesting reading and discussion for its own sake, here's what PEL Not School has on offer for the month of September.
The new and improved Intro Readings in Philosophy group, now under the guidance of Evan Roane (who finished grad school in philosophy in 2009), will be getting back to basics by taking a look at essential texts in Ancient Greek philosophy. Evan has hand picked selections from Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus and others, all with an emphasis on philosophy as a guide to living. This group will provide a little more assistance and exposition than the normal group structures do, so if you've been looking for a place to start with philosophy in general or with Not School, this group is for you. Of course, philosophy vets who are interested in the readings are welcome as well.
Our first new group this month will be reading some Marx, Althusser and Adorno on the nature of ideology. For potential members, some familiarity with Marxism is preferred, but extensive knowledge isn't required. Another group starting up will be on philosophy and film, and their chosen text is On Film by Stephen Mulhal. The book discusses eight different films, and members should try to get acquainted with them if they can.
Several established groups are continuing, such as the Fiction group, who are currently reading Umberto Eco's expansive philosophical mystery, Foucault's Pendulum. How long this will take is itself a mystery, but reading will definitely continue beyond this month. At least one live discussion will take place on the book at some point during the month, so check out their page to find out more.
The group reading Heidegger's Being and Time is still going strong, and holding regular discussions. Check out their page for more info about where they are in the book if you'd like to participate. Both the Philosophy and Economics group and the Information and Computation group appear to be continuing, and each is still deciding on a September text, so if you have something related you'd like to read, you may still have time to rush over and suggest it.
The Theater group will be exploring the relationship between ritual and theater, and our text this month is Victor Turner's From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play, which we will have a live discussion on at some point late in the month. Human sacrifices are unlikely, since the group has had only three active members lately, but please join us if you are interested. No previous familiarity with our subject is required.
That's it so far for this month, but remember to check the Citizens' Commons for new proposals. If you're quick about it, you could still propose your own for this month, or go check out the process and propose something in a couple of weeks for October.
- Daniel Cole