Group Leader: Trudi Learmouth
Meets: Third Tuesday of the month in the Epworth Room at The Mint, from 2 – 3.30pm.
What is Philosophy? A.C. Grayling introduces his essay on Philosophy in his book, The Reason of Things: Living with Philosophy thus:
“Philosophy is a set of pursuits which in various ways and across a range of endeavours investigates truth, meaning, knowledge, reason, existence and value. These at first seem heady matters but almost everyone at some time ponders them, so they are in fact familiar to everyone. The only difference between discussing them in a pub and studying them at university^, is that the latter endeavour aims to be more thorough and systematic. “
^ and that includes the University of the Third Age!
This quote perfectly sums up the ethos of Exeter U3A’s Philosophy group. We are different from discussion groups because of our approach to examining the issues that surround how we live our lives. In terms of thoroughness, we aim to acquire a knowledge and understanding of key philosophical ideas and approaches which we then try to apply to our own opinions and contemporary issues. Some would call this ‘academic rigour’. We decided to adopt a chronological systematic approach in our first year, and we started our study of Philosophy with Socrates and other classical philosophers, working our way forward through the centuries. We are currently looking at the philosophers of the Enlightenment. In order to have a common starting point for our sessions and focus for our discussion, we use Philosophy: The Classics by Nigel Warburton as our main text.
To return to Grayling’s definition, Philosophy is relevant for everyone because, as he says, nearly all of us think about such things as what is truth, what is real, what is just, what is the right thing to do, etc. at some point in our lives.
If this has whetted your appetite for ‘the examined life’ and you would like to join this group, please contact Trudi.