South Bucks

Philosophy

2nd Thursdays, 14.00 Members' Homes

The group has about a dozen members, of whom seven to nine come to a typical monthly meeting. We meet at the homes of members who can accommodate the group, in a rough cycle, by arrangement amongst ourselves. Most administrative communication is by e-mail.

It is a friendly an informal gathering, where we help each other to understand the chosen text, and debate the philosophical content, putting forward our own views. The discussion is lively, friendly, often funny. We do take the subject seriously, but not pedantically.

Our method of working is to agree on a book, which we all buy and read ahead of meetings. We choose books which are not too expensive (often available second-hand online), which can be worked through in three or four meetings, at most, and which contain content of general appeal to the group. Topics have included studies of famous philosophers (their thinking rather than their life-histories), key philosophical issues, and – recently - a series of broadcast interviews with fifteen famous modern thinkers. The convenor, or a volunteer, often prepares and circulates notes in advance, and launches the discussion in the meeting. But the meeting is wholly interactive in nature - not a presentation. We try to get to grips with some deep issues through the works of professional and/or classical philosophers, working out our own approaches and insights as we go.

So what is philosophy? We borrow a definition from one of our books: “the clarification of concepts, for the purpose of the critical evaluation of beliefs”. And some of the key concepts which have long occupied philosophers are:

the nature of reality (ontology) - What really exists?

the problem of knowledge (epistemology) - What can we really know?

causation

philosophy of science

the mind - consciousness, freedom of the will…

ethics

political philosophy - the source of the State’s authority, citizens ‘rights’…

etc.

Our recent book list gives a flavour of our interests:

Problems of Political Philosophy, by D.D. Raphael

Talking Philosophy (15 interviews with modern thinkers), by Bryan Magee

A Very Short Introduction to Wittgenstein”, by A. C. Grayling

Mind – A Brief Introduction, by J. Searle

A Very Short Introduction to Hume, by A. J. Ayer

A Very Short Introduction to Descartes, by T. Sorell

Protagoras and Meno, by Plato

Dates for your Diary
Thu Nov 14th 14.00 - Members' Homes
Thu Dec 12th 14.00 - Members' Homes
Thu Jan 9th 2020 14.00 - Members' Homes
More Group Pages
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Book Group 1 Book Group 2 Bridge Computer Users
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Film Appreciation France & All Things French Garden Lovers Geology & Archaeology
German Conversation History Italian Conversation Jazz & Blues Appreciation
Jazz Band Linking with Belarus Local History Mah Jong
MOTO (Members On Their Own) Music Musical Pot-pourri Opera & Dance
Painting & Drawing Philosophy Poetry Recorders
Science Shorter Walks Singing for Fun Spanish Interest
Stretch Table Tennis Tapas & Starters Tea & Chat
Tennis Theatre Visits Travel Group Walks
Wine Club z_______Croquet* z_________Bowls*
More Group Pages
MONTHLY MEETINGS Antiques & Collectables
Better Bridge Bird Watchers
Book Group 1 Book Group 2
Bridge Computer Users
Current Affairs Dining in
Discovering Art Exploring Local Churches
Film Appreciation France & All Things French
Garden Lovers Geology & Archaeology
German Conversation History
Italian Conversation Jazz & Blues Appreciation
Jazz Band Linking with Belarus
Local History Mah Jong
MOTO (Members On Their Own) Music
Musical Pot-pourri Opera & Dance
Painting & Drawing Philosophy
Poetry Recorders
Science Shorter Walks
Singing for Fun Spanish Interest
Stretch Table Tennis
Tapas & Starters Tea & Chat
Tennis Theatre Visits
Travel Group Walks
Wine Club z_______Croquet*
z_________Bowls*