Atty. Maura Armezzani Tunis
Saporito, Falcone & Watt Attorneys at Law
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Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance” not only was a centerpiece of the Transcendentalist Movement, perhaps America’s most influential philosophical movement, but its idealizing of the individual helped define and explain the historical emphasis on individuality in American culture.
The individual contains a spark of the divine and as a result each must live their own truth, against which conformity is a failure. Yet, this god within each of us combines for Emerson’s elements of faith and argument, and its presence in all human nature unites us even as it explains our individuality. This unique combination of individuality and unity stronglyinfluenced later mythic thinking, such as in Jung’s collective unconscious. We will discuss the essay in light of its claim to describe our access to truth.
Dr. Harold Baillie will lead the discussion.
Reading “Self-Reliance” is recommended.
Date:Wednesday, February 8
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#147 – TRUTH
A question that lies behind all the discussions we have had involves the question of “What is truth?” Somewhat abstract, but nevertheless truthful, truth is reproducing reality in words, or as Aristotle said “To say in words what is that it is, and what is not, that it is not, is truth” (Metaphysics, 1011b25). The real problem is that there are several ways to discover what is, and limits on all of them, leading to several different ways of stating and defending the truth. We will talk.
Date: Wednesday, January 18
Cost: $5 Register online; pay at the door.
New! A procedural republic is one that relies on institutions and their procedures, like voting, to arrive at guidance for agreement on policies, etc., while a conservative republic is based on agreement regarding civic virtues, like community involvement, employment, nationalism, and in general a sense of an involvement in a larger whole.
In Federalist Paper 10, arguing in favor of a proceduralist approach because of his deep suspicion of political passions, James Madison argues that the value of voting as established by the Constitution is two-fold: we are electing representatives who might be better informed and less passionate than we as individuals are, and the number of people voting, divided in parties or geographical areas, will prevent the passions of any particular group of taking control and harming the minority.
Is his focus on passions still appropriate and relevant? For example, as work changes from physical labor (i.e., farming and manufacturing) to service (i.e., waitressing, delivery, tech, or in general office work) does the nature or variety of our political passions change? Does that possible change affect Madison’s argument? What is its effect on the possibility of a common good?
In short, is it better to focus on controlling/dividing passions or trying to develop or educate the public to a sense of a common good?
#146 – What should govern governing look like: Passion vs. Virtue?
Passion vs. Virtue
Date: December 14, Wednesday
Cost: $5 pay at the door
We the People??? Really? What Makes us a People?
Following our discussions of the common good, equality and universality, rooted in our investigation of “All Men are Created Equal”, we return to another of our self-defining phrases, “We the People”. We originally used this as a sign of rebellion, a common usage then and even now. We are, after all, not the king nor ruling classes (hence populism). What makes a people? What sustains a people? How do we know WE are a people? Where should we look for a more positive definition: local community experience, economic class, ethnic heritage, religious identification, shared ideals, voting patterns? Or is the meaning of “The People” always and only in opposition?
Date: Tuesday, November 15
In this hands-on class Penn State Master Gardener Gary White will demonstrate the correct way to plant fall bulbs for Spring show of color.
Date: 11 AM
Time: Tuesday, September 27
Location: The Pocket Park –
In the event of rain at The Gathering Place
#105 – Planting Spring Bulbs
#106 – Bird Feeding through the Seasons
Join Ann Vitale, Nature Enthusiast, for a talk about birds. Do you enjoy watching birds for entertainment or as a hobby? Learn more about how to help songbirds throughout the year. Do they have different requirements for nesting, growing, migrating? What about habitat? Water? A variety of feeders will be demonstrated along with tips about what works, what doesn’t, & some ideas for holiday gifts for others who enjoy watching birds in winter as well as summer.
Date: Thursday, September 29
Get a jump start on spring planning with Penn State Master Gardener Gary White. He will share tips on ways to grow perfect strawberries & what materials you will need. You can have everything ready as soon as spring weather rolls around.
Date: Thursday, October 6
Time: 1 PM
#107 – How to Grow Perfect Strawberries
#108 – “From
Lackawanna County has always been home to women working to make their lives better, & the struggle for the vote found a receptive audience here. Learn more about suffragists & their opponents, & women who made the most of their political opportunities. Join Sarah Piccini from Lackawanna Historical Society for this timely presentation.
Date: Tuesday, October 11
Our lives seem to go by in a rush. As soon as we get used to something, it is replaced by something new. From phones wired to the wall, we now have portable phones which are also computers. Join Dennis Martin as we look at Jeremiah Clark & see how fast life went by for him during his lifetime.
Date: Wednesday, October 12
#109 – The Life & Times of Jeremiah Clark
#110 – The CCC & WPA & The Great Depression
With unemployment over 20%, FDR stepped in & created the CCC in 1933 & the WPA in 1935. Money wasn’t handed out without work & these were jobs that needed to be done but did not compete with private enterprise. The effects are long lasting & some are little known. Time after the lecture will allow participants to share local knowledge & personal history.
Date: Thursday, October 13
Time: 1 PM
If you have a dog, or dogs, or even if you don’t, this new knowledge is fascinating & useful. Behavior researchers in the US & Europe are behind the new jobs dogs do happily. Learn how to solve behavior problems at home by being a benevolent leader. These experts explain the failures of dog adoptions from rescues, & why interacting with your dog, teaching new things, is so beneficial for both of you.
Date: Saturday, October 15
Time: 11 AM
#111 – The Evolving Knowledge of Dog Behavior
#112 – All Men are Created Equal?
What do we mean when we say that all men are created equal? Clearly there has been a learning curve as that phrase has grown to include minorities and women, at least in the United States; in effect, as we learn what we mean by “men.” But what do we mean by “all”? What is the truth, or at least the next step, in understanding the universality of all? Do we mean everyone in Clarks Summit? In the United States? The world? What is the practical meaning of “all” and what responsibility does that confer on all of us? Can we justify the (self-centered? community-centered?) limits we place on our sense of universality, our sense of all? Does this also apply to what is truly “common” in the common good? To whom does the common good apply? Dr. Hal Baillie will lead this discussion.
Date: Wednesday, October 19
Bring summer inside with beautiful, healthy houseplants. Penn State Master Gardener Nancy Moreau will present a workshop on plant propagation, focusing on houseplants. You will take home a freshly potted plant & will learn how to feed, water & care for indoor plants through winter & after.
Date: Tuesday, November 1
Time: 1 PM
#113 – Brighten up Winter with Houseplants