Plato’s Place

PLATO’S PLACE 2016 – 2018

01/06/16      Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

01/13/16      Has the PC movement improved communication and social relations? SG

01/20/16      Who is your favorite historical figure?

01/27/16      Do people need to be protected from themselves?

02/03/16      Should Illinois pass a law similar to Oregon’s “right to die” law?

02/10/16      What do you consider a good movie? Why?

02/17/16      What roles do myths play in a society?

02/24/16      What do standardized tests really measure?

03/02/16      Are there any universal principles? How were they made universal?

03/09/16      How necessary is a college education?

03/16/16      What is the biggest problem we face in America?

03/23/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

03/30/16      Are college student becoming “cry bullies?”

04/06/16      How do you feel about zoos?

04/13/16      Is the death penalty effective?

04/20/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

04/27/16      Have you ever kept a diary or journal? What is the purpose of doing so?

05/04/16      Compare and contrast: justice and revenge.

05/11/16      Is the First Amendment (freedom of speech) outdated and no longer applicable in today’s society?

05/18/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

05/25/16      What advice would you give a newly graduated college student?

06/01/16      Is a hard life (sociologically, economically, etc.) inherited?

06/08/16      Will cable TV be replaced by streaming video, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the like?

06/15/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

06/22/16      Has political speech and commentary become worded so as to evoke outrage rather than to promote change?

06/29/16      Who would you nominate as one of our best presidents? Worst?

07/06/16      What does it mean to be educated?

07/13/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

07/20/16      Is multiculturalism working in the United States?

07/27/16      What do you watch on television and what would you recommend to others?

08/03/16      There is a federal law prohibiting the use of marijuana. However, in Colorado it is legal to purchase and use marijuana recreationally. Should the federal law be enforced?

08/10/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

08/17/16      Are colleges squelching free speech on issues of public concern?

08/24/16      Do apps help you or just waste your time?

08/31/16      When, if ever, is capital punishment acceptable?

09/07/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

09/14/16      Has “compromise” become a dirty word? If so, is that good or bad?

09/21/16      Should curiosity ever be suppressed? Are there things we should not know?

09/28/16      What are our responsibilities as citizens of the United States?

10/05/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

10/12/16      Have you read any good books lately? What are they and why do you consider them good?

10/19/16      Have American TV and cable news morphed into “pulp fiction?”

10/26/16      Do attractive people have advantages others do not?

11/02/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

11/09/16      Which is more important: talent or hard work?

11/16/16      John Stuart Mill said that which brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number is the measure of right and wrong. Comment?

11/23/16      No Plato’s Place – Thanksgiving Holiday

11/30/16      Should there be term limits on public officers? Should the 22nd Amendment be repealed?

12/07/16      Contemporary issues with Steve

12/14/16      Should companies collect information about you?

12/21/16      No Plato’s Place – Christmas Holiday

12/28/16      No Plato’s Place – New Year’s Holiday

01/04/17      Should the military be allowed to recruit in high schools?

01/11/17      Shakespeare said, in Hamlet: “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Comment.

01/18/17      Do you think life has a purpose beyond survival? If so, what, and how do you fulfill it?

01/25/17      If you could rewrite one thing in society’s past, what would it be?

02/01/17      Should fertilized eggs be given legal personhood?

02/08/17      What do you consider good music? Why?

02/15/17      Jefferson said, “If I had to choose between a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I would choose the latter.”

02/22/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” Which is more important, knowledge or wisdom?

03/01/17      What purpose does the electoral college serve? Should it be abolished?

03/08/17      Plato said, “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Comment.

03/15/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

03/22/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “My firm conviction is that it is the force of ideas rather than the impact of material things that made us a great nation. It is my conviction, too, that only the power of ideas, of enduring values, can keep us a great nation. For where there is not vision the people perish.” Does the United States need a vision to keep us great? If so, what should it be?

03/29/17      Should the system of naming new members to the Supreme Court be changed? How?

04/05/17      Is “free speech” a good thing? Why or why not?

04/12/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

04/19/17      The American political system is a 2-party system made up of Democrats and Republicans. What makes someone a “Democrat?” What makes someone a “Republican?”

04/26/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you inferior without your consent.” Do you agree or disagree?

05/03/17      Should all immigrants, even undocumented, have all the same rights as U.S. Citizens? Which rights would you deny?

05/10/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

05/17/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “I could never say in the morning, ‘I have a headache and cannot do thus and so. Headache or no headache, thus and so had to be done.’” Is it our responsibility to fulfill our responsibilities even if we don’t feel well?

05/24/17      Facebook is predicting that the overwhelming embrace of images and videos is making the written word superfluous. Agree or disagree?

05/31/17      Has the word “profit” become a dirty word in many circles?

06/07/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Those of us who have prejudices will have to make every effort to overcome them, since the only hope for peace in the world is to understand and like people of different religions and nationalities and races.” Is this the only hope for peace in the world?

06/14/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

06/21/17      Who do you think gets an unfair advantage and do they realize it?

06/28/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

07/05/17      Fourth of July holiday – No Plato’s Place

07/12/17      What can be done to improve the process for nominating candidates for president?

07/19/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Women themselves are partly to blame for the fact that equal pay for equal rights has not become an actuality.” Do you agree?

07/26/17      What does “middle class” mean to you? What should it mean?

08/02/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

08/09/17      Is the United States still exceptional? Was it ever? Why or why not?

08/16/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give.” Do you agree?

08/23/17      Discuss how the American Indians have been treated by the United States and its citizens. Why are they treated so poorly?

08/30/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

09/06/17      ICLRU Fall Coordinator’s Orientation. No Plato’s Place

09/13/17      Should there be additional criteria to vote beyond the current criteria?

09/20/17      If the recent polarization of our society, especially with the sensationalism and bias of the media, has led to people turning to the comfort of the group they know rather than being open to potentially discomfiting information, what effect to you think recent protests have had on this process.?

09/29/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

10/04/17      What are the pros and cons of declaring bankruptcy?

10/11/17      Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” How does this apply to our lives?

10/18/17      Who most influenced you during your lifetime?

10/25/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

11/01/17      Can honesty be a weakness?

11/08/17      What is the difference between bias and opinion?

11/15/17      What are five places in the Chicago area that you should visit? Why?

11/22/17      Thanksgiving holiday – No Plato’s Place

11/29/17      Contemporary issues with Steve.

12/06/17      What can ICL do to encourage more members to present/coordinate intersession and regular study groups?

12/13/17      What does “critical thinking” mean? How important is it to a democracy?

12/20/17      No Plato’s Place.

12/27/17      Holiday break – No Plato’s Place.

01/24/18     Why should we care about history? SG

01/31/18     Should we allow states to give special tax breaks to corporations so they can stay or relocate? LR

02/07/18     What is democracy? JF

02/14/18     Eric Weiner, the author of Geography of of Genius, frequently reminds
us that Plato said, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” Do you believe that still holds true? AZ

02/21/18     Should we have nationwide primaries to select presidential candidates? JF

03/21/18     Has capitalism fulfilled its promise? How would you improve it? LR

03/28/18    How far should “freedom of speech” extend? SG

04/04/18     What are the advantages and disadvantages of term limits for elected
officials? SN

04/11/18     Eric Weiner, the author of Geography of Genius, said, “Great civilizations rise to greatness for different reasons, but collapse for essentially the same reason: arrogance.” (p 315) What implications does this have for the US? AZ

04/25/18     Which is a better incentive, reward or punishment? JF

05/02/18     Is suicide ever justified? Should it be an individual’s right? AZ

05/09/18     Is competition good or bad for individuals and society? SN

05/16/18     Has the pursuit of the American Dream become an advantage or disadvantage to the US? LR

06/27/18     What is the right balance between the rights of the individual and
the needs of society? SG

07/04/18     No Plato’s Place for the July 4 Holiday

07/11/18     Is there such a thing as evil? If so, what is it? JF

07/18/18     Eric Weiner, author of Geography of Genius, reports that foreign-born
immigrants account for 1% of the US population, but have nearly a third
of all US patents granted and are 25% of all US Nobel Laureates. (p 264)
Why do you think this is so? AZ

07/25/18     Are there any universal principles? How were they made universal? SN

08/01/18     In the last 30 years, the US prison population has increased 600%. Yet
crime rates remain high. What are we doing wrong? SG

09/12/18     Is truth synonymous with reality? SG

09/19/18     Is there a more equitable way to fund public schools than local property
tax? SN

09/26/18     What is morality? JF

10/03/18     What happens if the US develops more isolationist postures to protect
our markets? What would be the short term and long term effects? LR

10/10/18     What are family values? Are they desirable in all societies? SG

10/17/18     Eric Weiner, the author of Geography of Genius, claims that “All genuinely
creative ideas are initially met with rejection, since they necessarily
threaten the status quo,” (p 265) Do you agree? AZ

10/24/18     Government spending is frequently called “investment.” Is that a truthful
characterization or is it simply expense? SN

10/31/18     Should everyone have to serve a term either in the military or in national
service? JF

11/07/18     How does a generally poor understanding of economics impact
democracy? LR


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