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The San Diego Great Books Council consists of two discussion groups, San Diego Downtown 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.

Next Meetings

(last updated September 12, 2014)


San Diego Downtown

Sunday, September 14, 2014


San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego, Room 221

2:00ó4:00 PM

Reading:† Solaris by Stanislaw Lem (1921ó2006)


Solaris (1961) is one of the novels on which Lemís impressive renown is based, the others being His Masterís Voice (1968) and The Cyberiad (1965).† A resident of Poland his entire life, Lem compiled a prodigious output over six decades of writing.† His work began to be translated into English in the 70s.† We will be discussing the only English translation of Solaris available in print by Joanna Kilmartin and Steve Cox.  The San Diego and County libraries have a few copies.  It is also available at Amazon and at,%20Stanislaw/Stanislaw%20Lem%20-%20Solaris.pdf .† Our leader for next time has suggested as a study guide. 

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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Del Mar

Friday, September 19, 2014


Meets at Bookstar (Barnes & Noble) in the Costa Verde Shopping Center,

8650 Genesee Avenue, Suite 230, San Diego, CA 92122


Please contact Sara Clark at

for further information

6:45ó8:45 PM



Reading:† Plato, The Republic (Bks 7 & 8)


A free download of the text is available at