Plutarch's Table

Literary Salons/Book Club | September 21, 2010

Plutarch’s Table offers literary salons that you can host in your own home.  These events work for the most part like a book club.  Most often a book club will meet at regular intervals to discuss a book that every member has read.  What we add to this picture is a stimulating philosophical orientation, so that instead of simply discussing your subjective reactions to the work your conversation will be guided by the deeper philosophical issues that the book raises.  In this way your experience of a work of literature can come to be a deeply thoughtful and productive one, and the engagement between members can transcend polite respect for the opinions of others.  The atmosphere is always lively but never hostile; the salon is a welcoming and egalitarian setting where conflicting ideas challenge us to higher levels of both thinking and camaraderie.  The format is usually a short talk on the work and then a facilitated discussion that is guided by the philosophical issues raised but in no way restricts the ability of participants to follow their own ideas and questions.

Food and drink is encouraged at Literary Salons.  These are less often dinner parties and more often wine and cheese events, but we are open to all of your great ideas for the set-up.  Food, drink, venue and guests is where you get to work your part of the magic for this event, though I also work with an outstanding caterer and can bring the whole package to your home.

Please contact me for more information at


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About author

My name is Joanna Polley. I am a writer and a philosopher experimenting with ways of practicing and teaching philosophy outside of the university environment. I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto and have taught for several years in the departments of philosophy and literary studies, and am currently exploring ways to bring philosophy out of the ivory tower and into the wider public sphere. My specific research interests have been in the history of philosophy, philosophy of language and culture and the philosophy of literature, but I am interested in any philosophy that helps illuminate contemporary problems and deepens our experience of being alive. You can also visit me at for information about my philosophical therapy services.







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