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“The Great Connections” Seminar

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“The Great Connections” Seminar
July 20, 2013 3:00 pm
July 27, 2013 11:55 pm
The Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute
March 4, 2013
University Center, Chicago
Google Map
525 S. State St., Chicago, IL, United States

Are you looking for more than memorizing information and reciting it on tests? Do you want to be challenged to think for yourself?

Can you connect the abstract ideas propounded in your classrooms with life decisions and world events? Can you confidently argue for – and act on – your point of view?

Do you want to gain powerful knowledge and skills that will equip you for college, for success, for life?

Do you want to connect with passionate and principled students from around the country to discuss life’s most challenging questions…while enjoying music, dancing, architecture, and art to the fullest?

If your answer is “yes,” then join us this coming July for a unique “total immersion” learning experience in one exciting and challenging week of intensive classes, interactive sessions, off-campus expeditions, and rewarding camaraderie. It just might change your life, as it has for previous students.


Through this seminar, you will:

  • Discover why philosophy is crucial to your survival and flourishing, and find the important meaning and implications for yourself in seemingly simple issues.
  • Learn how to ask questions that will change what you get from – and how you perform in – your classes.
  • Hone your “baloney detector.” Become an “ideological detective” by training your mind to find the assumptions behind any set of ideas and judge their objective truth.
  • Develop the ability to present facts, ideas, and arguments to others with clarity and confidence.
  • Confront riveting questions about such issues as the source of authentic happiness, how to withstand social pressure, and what is the relation of reason and emotion.
  • Learn about art’s power to change the culture. Explore the application of the concept of objectivity to sculpture and painting, and decide whether something can be judged a work of art – or not.



Seminar Details


The basics: The “Great Connections” seminar will begin at 3:00 PM on Saturday, July 20 and end at midnight on Saturday July 27. You will check out of your dorm on Sunday morning, July 28th and have the rest of the day to enjoy the city. 


Location: University Center, 525 S. State St., Chicago. 

Capsule schedule: Participants will attend seminars in the mornings, go on excursions in the afternoons, and engage in extended discussions in the evenings. Saturday evening: An orientation and initial Socratic Seminar. Sunday to Saturday: Socratic Seminars, special presentations, excursions, meetings with professionals, extended breaks to eat and explore on your own; Saturday evening: A closing dinner and party; Sunday morning: The day is free to explore the city or return home, at your option. View the full schedule here


Readings: After you register, we will email links for most of the texts so that you can read them in preparation for the seminar. At the opening of the seminar Saturday night, you will receive a specially printed book with all the readings to use during the seminar. We will also provide advance copies of the reading via email, and highly recommend you read all selections before you arrive. 


Accommodations and Meals: You will reside in the contemporary, air-conditioned dorm rooms of our conference building, University Center, 525 S. State, which has exercise and entertainment facilities.  We will provide the opening and closing dinners. The Center has its own cafeteria and you will receive a credit for breakfast every day. There are many food stores, eateries and cafes nearby offering everything from hamburgers and hot dogs to Thai food and sushi for your other meals. Students often eat together.


Transportation: Downtown Chicago is easily reached from O’Hare and Midway airports via CTA train or airport shuttle, as well as by bus, train, and car. Links to maps, information about what to bring, and details about Chicago will be sent to you after you register.


Fees: Full tuition to the program is $1,000, which includes the opening and closing dinners, and books. Room with one meal a day and full use of the conference exercise and entertainment facilities is an additional $800. A limited number of scholarships are available: see the seminar registration form at the link below.

  • March 1st, tuition is $200, Room and Board $200
  • April 1st, tuition is $400; Room and Board $400,
  • May 1st,  tuition is $600; Room and Board $600,
  • June 1st, tuition is $700 and Room and Board $700,
  • After June 1st, tuition is $1,000 and Room and Board $800.


A limited number of scholarships covering tuition and some room and board are available (see details on the Registration Form here and contact Marsha Enright at or 773-677-6418 with any questions).


You have four easy ways to register for the seminar:

1. To register online click here to go to the Registration Form which has a link to a totally secure web page, where you may use your credit card. Copy and paste the Registration Form into a word processing program, complete it and email it to
2. To register by postal mail, click here to print out a registration form. Complete and mail these with your check to 9400 S. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60643.  

3. To register by phone, call us at 773-677-6418 and pay by credit card. Send your Registration Form by email, postal mail or fax (773-233-8684).


Full Schedule can be seen here.

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