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The San Diego Great Books Council consists of two discussion groups, San Diego and Del Mar.  Both of these groups have been meeting for many years to discuss readings of classic works of Philosophy, Imaginative literature, Science, Political Economy and History.  We follow the University of Chicago Great Books Tradition of Shared Inquiry continued by Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins. To participate in our discussions you must have read the reading and be prepared to answer questions which the leader poses about the text. Visitors are welcome, of course. 


There is no lecture on the author or the reading.  We try to focus on the reading itself and not on outside sources. For more on how our meetings are run, please see the FAQs.

Our goals, in addition to having a harmonious discussion, are to better understand these texts and to clarify differences in interpretation, not necessarily to reach agreement. We believe these texts have meaning for today. If the Great Ideas interest you and the opportunity to learn through Shared Inquiry intrigues you, please join us.

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July  2016


This link will take you to a short clip in which Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren are discussing difficult books and how to read them.   Both Adler and Van Doren are of the opinion that books that are ‘over our heads’ are what we need to be looking for (and reading) in order to grow and prosper.  This is from a series of videos based on Adler’s classic How to Read a Book.   I would have to admit that this is a book that continues to be ‘over my head’.


Just thought you might be interested.