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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

In Awe of Art: Plato and Poetry

In the Republic, Plato argues that an education in poetry or art more broadly understood is essential to the education of children. In one of my favourite passages, he says that we must "seek out craftsmen who are by nature... Continue Reading →

The Problem with Alternative Facts: Plato’s Alcibiades

The image we get from Plato's dialogues of his teacher, Socrates, is strange and often startling. He wanders around Athens speaking to everyone, bothering most people, rarely taking the hint. He is generally barefoot and goes without bathing such that... Continue Reading →

Plato and Talking Your Way to Health: The Soul Doctor

In Ancient Greek, the word psyche, the root word for psychology and psychiatry, and generally translated today as "mind," could also be translated as soul.  In all of his dialogues, Plato focuses on how one might best achieve a healthy... Continue Reading →

Barking for Beans: How to Be A Better Person

My dog, Tim, has the bad habit of barking whenever he goes outside. It doesn't really even matter if there is something to bark at. He just has to announce, rather loudly, his presence in the world.  To get his... Continue Reading →

On Forgiveness and Letting Go: T.S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding”

I have a terrible memory for some things.  I can watch whole movies without remembering that I have already seen them. I don't remember the names of causal acquaintances, and lots of times I can't remember the names of my immediate... Continue Reading →

Recollecting Yourself: David Adams Richards and Why We Read

When I was a kid, I used to love to climb a particular tree in my backyard and lose myself in a book. That is until we discovered that I was allergic to said tree and no longer allowed to... Continue Reading →

Like a Detective: How to Read and David Adams Richards’s “Principles to Live By.”

Once while at university, I got an essay back from a professor that I was particularly pleased with.  So pleased, that I can't even remember what the thing was about.  But I do remember that the grade was not what... Continue Reading →

 Iphigenia: Feminist Freedom Fighter of Ancient Greece

Someday I might ask you for advice.  There will be some circumstance that I can't really change but I will want a work around.  Inevitably,  you will give me sound counsel - telling me to bend my will to necessity.... Continue Reading →

Dante’s Resolution Run

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