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'Art of War' provokes thought


An interview with Greg Wehner, leader of the Philosophy Book Club at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in the Long Gate Shopping Center, Ellicott City.

What book are members reading this month? Currently, they're reading "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, and that's actually a fairly popular book. It spans across a couple of fields of study.

Which fields of study does it encompass? It's actually a book written by a warrior philosopher a couple thousand years ago, and it's been used as a strategy book for business, and it's considered a Taoist book by some. It's considered a self-help book for people who want to learn how to deal with conflict.

Are there any books in particular that members have especially liked? They liked "Tao Te Ching" by Lao Tzu. We've recently been doing a couple of Asian works. I know we had a really interesting discussion about it. The book club is more of a discussion group than a book review group. We use the text principally for a springboard for discussion, and this book allowed people to give a lot of different ideas. Is there a particular book that none of the members liked? "Sophie's World." People - they weren't interested in it across the board - were saying, "I didn't like this book," but it still sparked discussion and conversation. "Sophie's World" was actually a novel about the history of philosophy. It was interesting, but the novel part people didn't get into. The history part we actually stuck to and enjoyed. [The author is Jostein Gaarder.]

How many people attend club meetings? We'll have anywhere from seven to 10 - maybe more - people show up.

How often does it meet? It's once a month on the third Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. [Information: 410-203-9001.]

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