I set up this new blog Integral Eyes because I want to discuss the various aspects of the five elements of integral theory (quadrants, levels, lines, states, and types). However, a new usage of the blog came to mind when I signed up for the Online Great Books program last week at onlinegreatbooks.com. Our first seminar will be next Wednesday, February 26th, 2020, and our first assignment is to read the book called … How To Read a Book co-authored by the philosopher Mortimer J. Adler and the editor Charles Van Doren.
I have been an enthusiast of the Great Books program ever since I was a junior high school student. There was a Junior Great Books discussion group that was held at our local library. However, as I entered high school I got involved more and more in mathematics and physics, and my reading in what might be called the “liberal arts” tapered off.
However, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I decided to get a job in the city of Chicago to earn money to return to the University of Illinois to obtain my bachelor’s degree. That’s when I started reading some of the works from the general Great Books program. However, I read them on my own and was not part of any discussion group.
So when the opportunity came recently to join a discussion group centered around the Great Books of the Western World, I eagerly signed up for the program. As the name of the program implies, the Online Great Books organizes the reading assignments, the portal for group discussion (Slack), and the actual discussion groups themselves called “seminars” which start you off with the first reading assignment, to read Mortimer Adler’s book How To Read a Book.
What I plan to do is use this blog to write notes for the various reading assignments and then to discuss them in depth in preparation for the seminars. By doing this publicly, I am also putting out the posts not just for discussion by the Online Great Books community, but with the general public as well.
The next post will start with the book How To Read a Book.