Book Discussion Group on “How to Live a Good Life”This is an experiment by Paul Baier. We will try one meeting and then go from there.
Next meeting: Sunday, July 30, 7p-8:30p at Panera Bread, Newton Centre to ead and discuss On Old Age by Cicero. Email Paul for PDF.
Group Goal and Meeting Format
- The goal is to understand different views on how to live a good life. The group is aimed at adults age 45+. The key questions
- What is a “good life”? How is it defined?
- How do others advocate for finding happiness, contentment and serenity?
- Practically, how should one best manage career, family, friendships, community?
- What can one learn from others about managing one’s life in their 40s, 50s and 60s?
- What are different concepts of the meaning of life?
- How does one age vibrantly and gracefully?
- 7p-8p Part 1: Moderated discussion 60 min
- Intro and ground rules
- Goal is to understand what the author is saying. Start with 3-5 written questions
- 8:p Part 2: Open discussion 30 min
- Do I agree or disagree with the author? Why?
- How does this reading change my view?
- 8:30p end
Reading candidates (not in any order); aim for <2hours of reading time
We aim to use the same version of each reading to make it easier when referring to page numbers and to avoid translation issues (the links below are to a version sold on Amazon)
- On Contentment, by Plutarch. Ask Paul for PDF version
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- On Friendship by Cicero and Aristotle's 3 Types of Friendship
- Living a Life that Matters by Harold Kushner
- On Old Age by Cicero (email Paul for copy of translation we are using)
- On the Meaning of Life by Will Durant
- Time of Our Lives, Mortimer Adler (summary of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics); first third
- 75 year old Harvard longitudial study
- Letter to Menoeceus by Epictetus
- Ecclesiastes, Hebrew Bible
- Enchiridion, by Epiticus
- Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- ______ by Montaigne
- Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? by Harold Bloom (first two chapters)
- Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas (3 chapters on rise of secularism)
- The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
- The Death of Ivan Illyich by Tolstoy (75 pages)
- The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
- How Will you Measure you Life? By Clayton Christensen
- Why are Americans so restless in the midst of their prosperity (2:8), by Alexis de Tocqueville
- Notes on types and importance of friendship by Aristotle
- (The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bonnie Ware )
- (Road Less Travelled (first half), M.Scott Peck)
- (Is Life Worth Living by William James)
- (Meaning of Life according to 7 Philosophies by Tracy Marks)
- (_____Joseph Campbell)
Discussion Rules for Part 1 (Draft)
- A moderator is named before before the meeting and the moderator role is to ensure the conversation says on track, is solely focused on understanding what the author is trying to say, and within time. The moderator should also have 3 questions to guide discussion.
- The goal of Part 1 for the everyone to ensure a shared understanding the author's message with references only to assigned material (no secondary sources). Personal opinions can be discussed in Part 2.