The Ideal Community: The Adventure to Try

Sarah Davis + Patricia Greer

Can an ideal human community ever be achieved? Socrates believed such a community would only be possible if and when humans develop an “erotic zeal for philosophy.” Santa Fe tutor Patricia Greer was a founding pioneer of the intentional community and ecovillage of Auroville, India, where she witnessed first-hand the tension between philosophical ideals that exist in both Eastern and Western philosophy and the political realities that arise when humans attempt to realize them together. In this episode, Greer sits down with host Sarah Davis, where lived experience leads us through a conversation on Plato’s Republic, Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk, and the conflict between the ideals that America was founded upon and the lived reality of life in America and beyond.

In this Episode

  • Patricia Greer
    Guest Patricia Greer

    Patricia Greer (AGI95) is a tutor emerita at St. John’s College. She is currently studying Sanskrit and leading a Great Books discussion group on works by Dostoyevsky, Mann, and others.

  • Host Sarah Davis

    Sarah Davis is a tutor at St. John’s College. This semester, she is discussing Aristotle in freshman seminar and Dedekind’s theory of numbers in junior mathematics.

Featured Release

The power and beauty of Homer’s imagery in the Iliad is undeniable, and his scenes of battle often prompt vexing questions about ancient and modern virtues. Can killing and dying in war be beautiful? Is a just cause required for glory to be gained? Is war a courageous way of fulfilling human nature and, ultimately, of embracing the reality that death awaits us all? This episode, in which Annapolis host Louis Petrich and tutor Erica Beall delve into the dramatic contrasts that make Homer’s work powerful and war potentially beautiful, invites us to question our own modern perspectives on this ancient text.

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Executive Producers Welcome

Continuing the Conversation was funded through the philanthropy of donors to St. John’s College. If you’d like to give to the college’s Annual Fund, your gift will go to support the kinds of inquiry and conversation that comes to life at St. John’s College. It also frees up money for creative projects like this one, which brings great conversation and great books into homes across the world.


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