|Status:||STARTS 9th September|
|When:||2nd Tuesday 10:30-12:00|
|Contact:||Peter Lake, Convenor Click the Message icon|
Café-philo is a grassroots forum for philosophical discussion. It was founded by teacher and writer Marc Sautet in Paris in 1992 although the concept perhaps goes back to the 1950s when characters such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir popularised cafés as venues for talk and debate.
Today, there are many Café-philos from Bristol to Bombay. As far as I have been able to ascertain, there is no affiliation to any overarching organisation: each Café-philo is entirely independent.
Equally, my enquiries did not find any standard method for Café-philo meetings. A quote from the Kingston Philosophy Café illustrates this:
‘There's no fixed, correct way to run a philosophy café. Some are very structured, others have no fixed programme and the topic is decided ad hoc at each meeting... Kingston Philosophy Café will continue to experiment with different formats, explore what participants want and are prepared to do, what works and what doesn't, and occasionally, at the end of the year, review how things are going and plan future sessions.’
As regards ethos, again there is no obvious standard but the following comment from an observer of Paris-based café-philos seems to sum it up: ‘You don’t have to know anything about philosophy to join. Any and all topics brought to the café table will be welcome and considered, to be discussed in the spirit of tolerance and openness’.