If you want to blame someone for problems in evangelicalism, Descartes is a good guy to look to.
I’ve aired some of my own suspicions about his philosophical program around here, which has brought some chastisement from my friend and fellow writer Gary Hartenburg.
While I am skeptical of Descartes, I’m also wary about his critics. I wonder just how many of us have actually read the guy. Most people, I think, haven’t. They’ve read about him, or read others who have read him. And that’s something that we want remedy.
But since reading books is no fun without talking about them, we decided to talk about Descartes. We are inviting Mere-O readers to a discussion on Descartes’ Meditations that will happen in two stages. Here are the details:
- Dates: Saturday, February 27th and Saturday, March 6th
- Time: 12:00 a.m. CST
- Length: 2 Hours Each
- Means: We’re going to use something called telephones. Details will be sent later.
- Cost: zip, nada, nothing.
- Who: you. But only 10 of you.
- How: graciously, candidly, honestly, directly.
- Requirements: read the whole book before the first class. Don’t worry, it’s short.
- Which book? This is the preferred edition. But we’ll let you sneak in if you don’t have it.
If you’re interested in participating, put your name in the comments. First preference will be given to those who have subscribed to Mere-O by RSS or email, so if you have, let me know that in the comments to. And if you haven’t, now is a good chance to do that. And if you have a blog and really want to increase your chances, link back to this post and let your readers know.
While we’re trying this with 10 people to start, if the interest is high we’ll continue doing it with other books.
Of course, this is going to be a discussion. Which means we’ve gotta have a leader. And for that, I’ve asked Gary Hartenburg to do the honors.
Besides being a contributor here at Mere-O, Gary Hartenburg is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the California State University, Fullerton, and a regular visiting faculty member for the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University. He is currently earning his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine.
On a personal note, Gary happens to be one of the most judicious and careful thinkers I know and a brilliant discussion leader. Which makes him a perfect guy to do this sort of experiment with. Plus, for those of us no longer in a university setting, this is an opportunity to spend two hours chatting with other like-minded folks about a text that we all need help to understand.
I’m excited about this. While other blogs have read books together, very few have taken those readings into a real-time conversation. And almost none of them have done so with a Ph.D. candidate leading the way.
So join us for our little experiment. It could flop, but it could be the most interesting 4 hours you spend in 2010. And for that, it’s worth trying.