Philosophy Read-In’s

What’s Our Read-In Group All About?

Our Merlin Philosophy Read-In Group is a gateway into classic and contemporary writings in philosophy. Unlike some of our more informal activities and events, these gatherings are structured around the book we’re reading together and the specific arguments given by the author.  

With an eye both to understanding their specific ideas and arguments, and to cultivating general skills for reading and studying philosophy, we carefully read together and discuss important and influential books in philosophy.  This includes evaluation, critique, and application to our contemporary lives, but always in a way that brings us back to the source. 

Read-In Group meetings are facilitated by David Nowakowski, who brings specific knowledge and background to the text and helps cultivate the general skills of philosophical reading and analysis. FREE/$5 suggested donation.  Reading group book(s) can be purchased from Montana Book Co.  Alternatively, you can also visit Lewis & Clark Library to inquire about checking out a copy.

When Do We Meet?

Our Philosophy Read-In Group meets periodically (based on community interest) from 6pm-7:30pm.  



Cottonwood ALC Community Center located at 322 Fuller Avenue.

How Are Our Read-In Group Gatherings Structured?

With each text, and at each meeting, we:

  • learn about the particular ideas and arguments advanced by important philosophers,
  • apply those ideas and arguments to our own lives and circumstances, and
  • learn strategies for engaging with philosophical writings, which will help us to read a wide range of other works, whether alone or in the company of others.

For each book, we move from background and context-setting, to examination of a few central questions, to a wider overall view of the text and its structure, to critical discussion and evaluation.  By emphasizing the earlier steps, we build the foundation for everyone in the group to read and engage with depth, rigor, understanding, and confidence.

Each participant should read the relevant sections of the book before coming to our meeting.  To help guide the reading, questions are provided to read-in participants in advance by the facilitator. In our meeting, we examine the text for a second (or third, fourth, …) time, in order to dig deeper. 

What Else?

While there is no long-term commitment — new participants are warmly welcome every time we start a new book — those who attend regularly will see patterns emerging across different books, and will be able to apply the ideas and skills from earlier works to later ones, developing an especially deep and rich appreciation for the life-changing work of philosophical reading and study. 

Read-In Group gatherings & info will be listed below, as applicable.

Our Merlin Philosophy Read-In’s are geared for kids and are opportunities for youth to enjoy listening to featured stories aimed at getting their synapses firing, along with a kid-inspired philosophical discussion.  Parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. welcome and encouraged to attend.

FREE. Light snacks provided. $5 suggested donation.


What: Philosophy Read-In
When:  TBD
Where: Reeder’s Alley Interpretive & Convention Center (101 Reeder’s Alley, Helena MT 59601)
Age(s): Children, Tweens, Teens
Featured Stories: TBD (followed by a lively philosophical discussion)

  • Doors open at 6:15pm; Storytelling starts at 6:30pm
  • 30-45 minutes of storytelling & 30-45 minute post-reading discussion

Venue Capacity:  15-20 people
Cost: FREE ($5 Suggested Donation)
Other Information: Light snacks provided.

For more information, please contact Marisa Diaz-Waian at [email protected] or #406-439-5788.

Our Philosophy Read-In Sponsors

To view pictures from our philosophy read-in’s, please visit our Merlin Read-In Archive page.

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