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How does the essay idea (outlined below) sound?

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it's newer, its better, satisfaction guaranteed! Removes even the toughest stains!

Post  JWSanborn on Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:49 pm

Okay, so here is an idea i had that i think could be quite entertaining, exciting and fruitful, it is as follows.
each week when we attend the meeting we bring 1-3 essay topics ranging anywhere from the very serious to the absurd. from a critique of some specific work, to friendship as it relates to the halting problem, to the immortal condition of wax fruit, and anything in between. everyone will place their topics into a hat or designated receptacle and once everyone's topics are in, everyone draws one. everyone then writes about that topic in a brief essay (brevity is at the discretion of the author) and brings it back the next meeting they attend to read it out so that we may critique it.
Obviously this is just a very basic sketch of the process. Rules regarding explicitness of topic, topic drawing rules, critiquing rules would all have to be made and may change as necessary. the objective is to write an essay about a topic you may have never thought about. you can try to challenge someone with an absurd topic or a very specific field. you could try to make someone write a humorous article or whatever you like. it would be a fun activity in my mind, having to write an essay about any possible topic would be enjoyable.

a few more thoughts:
>there should be no upper or lower bounds on length or time. If you do not have time to write one week, either write a very brief piece or take an extra week if you would like to delve deeper. if you have a ton of free time, write a three volume set if you'd like.
>if you don't want a paper to be critiqued perhaps we could have a read only section where if you want your paper read, but would prefer not to have critical feed back that is an option too.
>we could post essays to the forum in advance to allow for more time for people to critique them.
>if we really enjoy this we could turn it into a book and try to shove it off on poor saps who think we know what we're doing.

Any questions? Comments?

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Excellent idea

Post  John on Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:08 pm

I want to second this idea explicitly. We can even start an additional thread for the essays we are unable to critique during discussion. This may add breadth to an otherwise specialized member's philosophical repertoire, or at least allow for practice through repetition of understood material. Either way, I look forward to seeing the topics. Just to get started:

On the Four-foot Roof of the Principal of Insurance Premiums (how are insurance premiums related to sufficient reason?)

The Quince (or how Machiavellian dynamics relate to fruit cultivation)

Lohan's Run (thoughts on death by Lindsay, ghost written by Shelly Kagan)
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