I’d like to see some friendly wrangling about what exactly we are supposed to do with books and students as we conduct them through the great books we teach them. I hope the questions below can help get the conversation started.
I would argue that Plato’s Republic is not the same kind of book as Hobbes’s Leviathan, yet both are part of the great books tradition in the topic of political philosophy. Many of the books on curriculum lists come from different ages of history and genres of writing. Do the differences in great books’ historical and literary contexts merit teaching them differently? How does teaching different types of Great Books in the same course alter how we teach them individually in separate courses? Do all great books possess the same kind of authority? Do they posses the same level of authority even if the same kind?
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