Philosophy - 1 THIS GROUP HAS CLOSED
Philosophy - 2 Claygate
1.45 to 3.45 p.m alternate Tuesdays. Each meeting starts with discussion of a current moral dilemma.
The Leaders say:
"We currently have 11 in our register, average turnout around 7 or 8, which is ideal for the sort of discussion we have. Consequently, we cannot take new members, but there is a waiting list.
The group was formed around four years ago after the Leaders had completed a post retirement degree in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, because the only other U3A Philosophy group was full.
Over time we have covered most areas of philosophy, including ethics, epistemology/ nature and sources of knowledge, logic, perception, political philosophy, aesthetics and Greek philosophy.
In the earlier days the group leaders would give an overview of a topic and then would facilitate discussion. Over time we have endeavoured, increasingly, to focus most on aspects of philosophy that have the greatest relevance for how we can best live our lives today. In practice, this has meant placing more emphasis on ethics than on other areas of philosophy.
We got into the habit of individual group members identifying a topical ‘moral dilemma’ the pro’s and con’s of which would be debated during the first half of the meeting, prior to discussion of a particular philosophical topic.
Now we have taken this approach one step further: members of the group have identified a number of ‘moral dilemmas’ on which future meetings will be based. In advance of each meeting group members will, prompted by suggestions from the group leaders, research the philosophical roots and ramifications of a particular dilemma and then come to the meeting ready to share thoughts and ideas. Examples of moral dilemmas covered range from the need or otherwise to limit research into, and development of, artificial intelligence, the issue of voluntary euthanasia and whether advertising should be more strictly regulated.
But rest assured, however serious the topic might sound there’s always lots of laughter to be heard in group meetings. And the more laughter there is, the more relaxed people are, and the better the ideas and insights generated!
The way we investigate and discuss philosophical issues will undoubtedly continue to evolve, based on the preferences and needs of group members.