June 15, 7 pm -The Investigator and the Intellectual
Othello & Hamlet
In June we discuss chapters 4 & 7 of the book A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice by Kenji Yoshino.
Yoshino’s book chapters provide sufficient plot and character of both plays supplying the context for discussion and it is not essential to read the whole plays.
Discovering Facts: Both the plays present multiple modes of discovering facts. In our
current circumstances when facts seem malleable, how can we use the lessons learned from these plays to arrive at a common understanding of facts? Consider the following:
Individual fact-finding (lone voices) vs group’s negotiated consensus. How do we weigh group think over critical thought?
Who is a trustworthy source? The powerful historically held sway over facts, something challenged by #metoo and BLM, to name two recent movements.
When is fact-finding over? Think of how facts surrounding COVID-19 continue to emerge and refine our understanding. Are facts based on beyond all doubt or beyond all reasonable doubt?
2. Ocular Proof Bias: Small objects play an outsized role in making judgments, especially visual cues. Consider masks and how they have come to define political divisions during the pandemic. They also transfer the debate from the actual issues to side-issues.
3. The Perfect versus the Practical: Oshino’s book provides great examples of dissents being more idealistic than majority opinions. Consider the idea of ‘wokeness’ and how academic language seeps into public discourse. Is this helpful or limiting to the causes they espouse?
Copies of A Thousand Times More Fair are available for purchase at River Lights Bookstore with a 15% book club discount. River Lights Bookstore is located at 1098 Main St in Downtown Dubuque, Iowa. 563.556.4391 - Shop Local!