Tell me about the Philosophy Group

We comprise a friendly group of about 8-12 people who usually meet on the third Monday of the month to talk about philosophy.

Which is?

Philosophy covers a huge area. Life, the Universe and Everything. Currently we are looking at Existentialism.

Very helpful. Can you be more explicit?

In essence, it is about asking questions, and thinking rationally, logically about the answers and consequences of such answers. That’s harder than you might imagine. Freeing your mind of prejudice and unfounded beliefs can be difficult. Even recognising that you hold them can be hard. That’s why being in a friendly group is so valuable as you dismantle some of your cherished, but false views. If you don’t like the conclusion, then you are encouraged to look for faults in the argument. As we say: shoot the message not the messenger.

So if I come to philosophy meetings ultimately I will know the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything?

Err, no. But we aim to understand the questions a lot better.

But you can’t discuss such a huge topic in 90 minutes. What do you really talk about?

Of course we must be much more focussed. We talk about specifics from areas such as Epistemology (what is it that can be known), Ethics (what is the right thing to do, how do we know, and even then, why should we do the right thing?), Politics (is a benign dictator better than an unstable democratic government?), science, religion, the mind, and personal identity. A discussion might be begin along the lines of: suppose it is true that human brains can be transplanted between you and another individual. Which of the two then is really you?

I’ve never done anything like this before. Is that a problem?

No. Just a willingness to listen and to think logically is all that’s needed.

Do I have to study between sessions?

No, but some background reading is useful. An email is sent out a couple of weeks before the meeting, outlining the topic to be discussed. If you do not have access to email, then the outline can be posted, but you have to provide the envelopes and stamps. There is no other charge for attendance.

But I still have questions!

Contact the group leader, Deryck Rogers via the contact page.