Dumfries

Philosophy Group 2

Group Leader:- Frank Farrell
Venue:- Members' house
Time:- 2.00-4.00pm 1st Monday of the month

"Philosophical Phun and Phancy"

Several years ago I enquired about joining the "Philosophy for Fun"" group only to be told that it was full. Then a year ago I was advised that a new philosophy group was being considered and so I hastened to join.

Imagine my consternation on being told that since I was the first applicant I should be the leader. I knew nothing or very nearly nothing about philosphy But I was lucky enough to find a fascinating group of people who all claimed to know very little but to have a boundless enthusiasm to remedy that condition .

The first couple of meetings were rather rambling affairs in which we started to look at "Sophie's World" a book by the Norwegian author and philosopher Jostein Gaarder. I had started to read this many years ago but never actually finished. And then, thinking that we ought to start at the beginning we began to look at the works of Plato and Socrates and the early Greek philosophers.

Then somehow we stumbled across Michael Sandel, a Harvard professor of Political Ethics and his course of lectures entitled "Justice". This series can be sourced on You Tube. Some of our group had heard him speak last year during the Edinburgh Festival. This course is a series of lectures presented by, Michael Sandel, which had become one of the most popular Harvard courses. Following this course has helped us make large strides into the world of philosophy. Beginning with Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarians, we have progressed with John Locke and his views on Natural Law and the Rights of man. We are at present working our way into Immanuel Kant and The Critique of Practical Reason

We meet in the members homes, on the first Monday of the month and the two hour session often carries on way beyond the nominal two hours .
We have now been going for a full year and no longer feel like novices.

I still have not finished reading Sophie's World but know that I will.

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