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A Great Book Can Change Your Life

Philosophy and Literature For Your Life

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A Great Book Can Change Your Life

Sara MacDonald is an award-winning professor at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, Canada where she founded a Great Books program in 2002 that she directed until 2015 and in which she continues to teach. Known for a teaching style that promotes lively, penetrating discussions through a blend of intellectual rigor, Socratic humility and a quirky sense of humor, Sara's courses generally focus on the ways in which great works of philosophy and literature can help illuminate perennial themes and questions of human life. In addition to her teaching, Sara researches and writes about political philosophy, with an emphasis on ethics, freedom and human rights. Sara received her graduate education in political science at Fordham University and her undergraduate education at St. Thomas University. She is currently on sabbatical and trying her hand at on-line teaching. Check her out at greatdiscourses.com

Mindfulness Plato-style: The Parmenides

At the end of yoga class, you are supposed to lie like a breathing corpse. I think it has to do with being in the moment - as in - if you were a corpse that could actually breath, why... Continue Reading →

Plato and Penelope: The Politics of Weaving

Homer's Iliad, which tells the story of the Trojan war, reveals in clarity the devastation of a world at war. Having come to Troy to avenge the abduction or seduction of the Menelaus's wife, Helen, and to reassert the principles... Continue Reading →

(Not) Just Another Word: Freedom and John Locke

Locke's Second Treatise on Government is famously cited as providing the philosophic foundations of the liberal democratic world. Arguing against the right of of absolute monarchs, Locke says that if we imagine how we might have existed in an original... Continue Reading →

Why Margaret Wente Can’t Find Love

Why Margaret Wente Can’t Find Love  On any given day, I might grab a coffee with some colleagues, chat with students, or have long conversations with good friends – most of whom are women from their early twenties to mid-forties... Continue Reading →

Death and Hope: Plato’s Theatetus

As the drama of Plato's dialogue, the Theatetus, begins Socrates is on his way to the courthouse, where he will be charge and convicted to death for not believing in Athenian gods and corrupting the youth. Just prior to his arrival... Continue Reading →

Plato’s Theatetus: Becoming for Each Other

Left to my own devices at lunch time, I set a spoon on fire while making soup. Rather than panicking, I efficiently dunked the spoon in the soup and stirred. And now I have a master chef tip for improving... Continue Reading →

Plato,the Good, and Gloria

There were five cedar trees in my backyard. They are no more. They didn't flower. They were kind of straggly looking. And one day I had had enough. The shovel, however, was in the shed. The shed was locked. I... Continue Reading →

In Hope, Joy and Love: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

If asked what they think about Shakespear's play Hamlet most people have strong feelings - they either love the dark, brooding and philosophically searching main character or they hate what they take to be Hamlet's angst-ridden indecisiveness.  By way of... Continue Reading →

How to be Good: Plato and the Purpose of The Laws

Sometimes my dog Tim does things that he shouldn't.  Like the time he ate the right shoe of two different pairs. Or when he jumped up and broke the ceiling fan. Or when, just prior to Thanksgiving dinner, he lunged... Continue Reading →

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