Classics of Philosophy Reading Group

Join us ON ZOOM the 2nd Monday of each month, 7pm-8:30pm (MTN)

Next Session: Monday, April 10, 7pm-8:30pm (MTN) on Zoom

Registration is free, non-binding, and open to all.

April 10 - David Velleman on "Family History" (Rescheduled from March 13)

How important is it to know your biological parents? 

In this month's essay, philosopher David Velleman argues that knowing your biological family is a uniquely important way that we come to understand ourselves, and provides crucial self-knowledge that can’t be learned any other way. As a consequence, he argues (perhaps shockingly!) that we have a reason to prohibit people having children using an anonymous person’s sperm and egg donations. Those children would never know their biological parents, and so, according to Velleman, creating them would be selfish of the parents. 

Details about the session, links to the text, and a reading guide can be found below.

Please read the text before our meeting and come with questions you'd like to discuss together. 

Questions? Check below or email us.

Wondering how to get the Zoom info after registering? Check out our new video!

What to expect at a session

To prepare, please read the text to the best of your ability. A reading guide is available below. If you are unable to read ahead, please come anyway!

After brief introductions and a review of the discussion policies, the facilitator will ask participants to submit questions and ideas for discussion.  The facilitator will then guide the group in working through as many of their questions as possible before recapping and wrapping up the discussion.

No background in philosophy is expected or required. We are excited to discuss the ideas raised by your interaction with the text!

Click here for our discussion guidelines.

Get this month's text

Download Velleman's essay "Family History" here:


This essay is published in an open access book (Creative Commons license) by Velleman titled Beyond Price. The essay we are reading, "Family History," is chapter 5.  You can view and download the entire book here:

Get this month's reading guide

Your facilitators are putting together a reading guide with helpful summaries and questions for thought.

Coming soon!

More philosophy

Longmont Public Library "Deep Thoughts" reading group:

Just like this one, but meets the 4th Monday of each month. Readings may differ from Boulder library sessions. 

Great philosophy podcasts

The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps - Over 350 episodes covering various philosophers and topics. Includes episode series on Indian philosophy and Africana philosophy.

Hi-Phi Nation - approximately 40 episodes (as of 2020) that discuss philosophical ideas in contemporary contexts.  The most recent seasons have focused on issues of justice and politics.

Discussion groups

Grey Havens Philosophy - A Longmont, CO based nonprofit running weekly and monthly philosophical discussion groups for all ages.

Your local philosophers!

Philosophy Department at the University of Colorado - Boulder