Modern Classics of Rationality

Grades 10-12, students and adults

Grades 10-12 and students:  Once a month, Thursdays 18.00-21.00
Adults:  Once a month, Thursdays 18.00-21.00
Cost:  30€ per month (siehe Cost)

shared meal included in price


Modern Classics of Rationality is a guided non-fiction book circle for pupils, students and adults.

What will we learn?

We will be expanding our intellectual horizons by reading highly impactful books written by fellow truth-seekers. The aim of this guided book club is not to present one single view or one topic, but rather to read and then openly engage with a diverse set of great non-fiction books.

The books we’ll cover will be chosen by the students (see “How will we work?”), but typical topics we’ll grapple with are:

  • What can we, or can we not, learn from experts?
  • What empirical data should, or should not, be used to change one’s mind?
  • What are some of the extinction risks facing humanity?
  • Why do people spend so much resources on social cues, such as clothes, laughing and so on?

How will we work?

We’ll meet once a month and share a meal. We’ll work through every book over two months, to be able to discuss the ideas from the book in detail. Students are also welcome to join virtually if they’re not able to make it in person.

Karsten will make a list of excellent books to pick from (although you can also suggest your own), and every student gets to pick a book from that list. Every student reads each book individually, and then we have an informal discussion about the book.
Every topic is on the table, but all books in this reading circle aspire to be coherent, honest representations of reality, clear in what they say and evidence-based.

What are the goals?

  • Enrich our intellectual lives through reading impactful non-fiction books
  • Learn to be better thinkers
  • Learn more about important topics from skilled truth-seekers
  • Enjoy fruitful and fun discussions with your fellow students

Reading list

This is a part of the list of books that students will choose from:

  • The Elephant in the Brain, Jonathan Haidt (about social signaling theory)
  • The Righteous Mind, Kevin Simler & Robin Hanson (about the evolutionary psychological basis for morality)
  • The Myth of the Rational Voter, Bryan Caplan (about strengths and weaknesses of democracy)
  • Expert Political Judgment, Philipp Tetlock (about the low predictive power of experts)
  • The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb (about the unpredictability but oversized impact of many phenomena)
  • The Precipice, Toby Ord (on extinction risks facing humanity)

Any questions?

Please call us or write an email:
0151 701 66 162 |

Karsten Miermans