Discussion Groups

I run two Zoom-based discussion groups. Both are loosely related to the blog in the sense that people active on the blog tend to be members of one or the other group, and in the sense that we tend to continue our group discussions on the blog. But that’s a broad generalization, not an absolute. This page houses information on both. Each group has room to include maybe one more member, so if either one sounds of interest, drop me a line at khawajaenator at gmail. Both groups presuppose a professional-level degree of familiarity with the subject-matter.

Mc-Cormick-Taber Seminar in Philosophy
This discussion group has been kicking around in one form or another since 2002, well before the creation of the blog in 2014. In its current form, it meets monthly (usually on a Sunday night), has 4-5 members, and focuses mostly on Anglophone analytic philosophy of the last few decades, usually but not exclusively in ethics and political philosophy. Though we’ve covered a fair bit of ground over the decades, the group’s meeting schedule has typically operated in fits and starts (as has its membership)–on for a few years, off a year or two, etc. At some point, I’ll reconstruct MTSP’s full history, but for now, here’s a listing below of what we’ve been reading since maybe 2019, and a blog post explaining how it got its name.

2018-2019: Michael Huemer’s The Problem of Political Authority; Jason Brennan’s Against Democracy; David Estlund’s Democratic Authority; David Riesbeck’s Aristotle on Political Community.

2021-2022: George Sher’s Desert; H.L.A. Hart’s The Concept of Law; T.M. Scanlon’s What We Owe to Each Other; Lisa Tessman’s Burdened Virtues.

February 26, 7 pm EST: Gerald Gaus, The Tyranny of the Ideal, pp. 1-41.
March 26, 7 pm: Gaus, Tyranny, pp. 42-74.
April 23, 7 pm: Gaus, Tyranny, pp. 74-114.
May 28, 7 pm: Gaus, Tyranny, pp. 114-149.
June 26, 7 pm: Gaus, Tyranny, pp. 149-250. (We may divide this reading up in terms of a “division of labor” between discussants, and possibly do something similar for the appendices.)

Next reading (starting in July): Lon Fuller, The Morality of Law

Health Care Discussion Group
This discussion group began in August 2022, and, as the name suggests, focuses on broadly normative issues in healthcare. Though much of what we discuss overlaps with bioethics and business ethics, the group is intended more for health care professionals rather than for theorists, and focuses on matters of clinical/logistical/professional detail that are somewhat “down in the weeds” from a philosophical perspective. Right now, we have four members–three practicing physicians and a business analyst working in healthcare revenue cycle management (me). We meet quarterly.

Summer 2023 (date TBA): Discussion of Arnold Kling and Michael Cannon, “Does the Doctor Need a Boss?” Cato Briefing Papers 111 (Jan. 13, 2009), and Kenneth Arrow, “Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care,” American Economic Review 53:5 (December 1963), pp. 941-973.
May 30, 2023: Discussion of Paul Starr, The Transformation of American Medicine, chapter 5, “The Coming of the Corporation.” 
January 21, 2023
: Suleman Khawaja, “Burnout in Healthcare”
August 20, 2022: Irfan Khawaja, “Hospital EVS: Toward a Research Program”

Last revised: May 30, 2023