Past Events

Aug 2019

Eric Phipps - Spinoza – 04/08/2019:

This introduction proposes to open the floor for a discussion on the relevance of Spinoza for 21st. century Humankind.


Jul 2019

Peter Fleming - Tenderness – 07/07/2019:

King Lear, Michelangelo, Dr King and what Freud did not know

Jun 2019

Cognitive Biases - Kieran Quill – 02/06/2019:

Kieran Quill will speak on Cognitive Biases

The slant with be towards these universal biases at work in conducting scientific research, and in everyday life.  Are these biases common in philosophy too?  Do philosophers acknowledge them?  Are there corrective mechanisms- as there are in the sciences?  Does it make sense to have “corrective mechanisms” in philosophy?

May 2019

What is the Socratic Method - Nicky Hyman – 05/05/2019:

Nicholas Hyman explores what is called the Socratic Method, akin if not also known as Platonic Dialogue. Drawing out a conclusion is not just persuasive and convincing. We learn why something is the case, not from authority, and still less from pious conformity. Other individuals may then be enlightened, woke indeed.
Richard Price and Plato’s Phaedrus induces how to proceed, ineluctably and with clarity. Divisions between beauty and truth are not to be overcome, contrary to Keats’s exhilarating injunction.

Apr 2019

The Philosophical Implications of March 29th - Iain Orr – 07/04/2019:

Iain Orr will lead a discussion on the Philosophical implications of March 29th

Mar 2019

Karl Popper and Biology - Bob Clarke – 03/03/2019:

In a late change to our schedule Bob Clarke will present a talk on Karl Popper and Biology
Karl Popper had an abiding interest in the Philosophy of Biology. His views on Darwinian Evolution were particularly controversial, but they formed an integral part of his theory of Human Knowledge – an “Evolutionary Epistemology”

Feb 2019

Conspiracies that never die - Nicky Hyman – 03/02/2019:

The age of President Trump, the Brexit campaign and illiberal regimes in Budapest and Warsaw has parallels with the anti-intellectual, fascisant climate of the 1930s.
A cluster of tenets are underpinned by a conspiracy theory, its evidence adaptable to antisemitism, racism or Russophobia. What are the philosophical and historical roots of these belief systems?

Jan 2019

Kierkegaard's Fear And Trembling - Barrie Selwyn – 06/01/2019:

Barrie Selwyn  will speak on Kierkegaard’s Fear And Trembling

Dec 2018

Negative Dialectics - Monica Booth – 02/12/2018:

Part I: Concepts

How does Adorno mark the difference between his materialism and Hegel’s idealism?

You are recommended to read  #5, “negative dialectics” from the Stanford Philosophy website entry on Adorno.  The article points to some of the concepts Adorno raises in his Frankfurt University lectures 1965/66 which be the basis of the talk

Nov 2018

Pride - Peter Fleming – 04/11/2018:

Oct 2018

Socrates, the Hemlock Cup and the Socratic Method - Nicholas Hyman – 07/10/2018:

How do we know about the life and death of Socrates, and what is the Socratic method?

Sep 2018

Averroës - Ibn Rushd – 02/09/2018:

The philosophy of Ibn Rushd – Frank Gelli

Ibn Rushd – known in the West as Averroës – is arguably the greatest Arab/Muslim philosopher. The important issues he grappled with are still with us today, the age of fundamentalism, ISIS and the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’. I will discuss some key feature of his thought but if you want a brief, fictional and amusing introduction to this great man’s ideas, read J.L. Borges’ entertaining short story ‘Averroës’s Search’, Available in paperback, in any collection of Borges’ works

Aug 2018

A discussion on the family - Introduced by Iain Orr – 05/08/2018:

Iain Orr will introduce a discussion on “The family – a necessary concept in ethics (Confucian, Nicomachean, Kantian and Utilitarian?), political philosophy and epistemology (and even metaphysics), or not?”

Jul 2018

Bob Clarke - Imagination Part 1: The Core Imagination – 01/07/2018:

An examination of the proposition, formulated by Enlightenment Empiricist philosophers and by Immanuel Kant, that our Imagination is central to our very way of being in the world. How does this proposition fare when seen from the perspectives of contemporary neurological and cognitive sciences? It may be that the ‘Creative Imagination’, which is so important for the Arts and Sciences, arises from an ‘overflowing’ of our Core Imagination, which is essential for us to be able to make any sense of the world at all! The talk will fall into three sections: (1) The Productive Imagination, (2) “If”, (3) Causality.

Jun 2018

Causality and physical history – 03/06/2018:

Björn Patricks will present the book Ubiquity.

Narratives of history are always problematic, as they are made after the event, and can offer a very limited number of causal chains. But focusing on the underlying structures and forces at work can help to make sense of historical developments. Mark Buchanan’s book Ubiquity use examples from the physical world to compare with social events to maybe shine some light on their nature.


May 2018

Nicholas Hyman - Tacit and Direct Knowledge – 06/05/2018:

How much of our knowledge is direct? Nicholas Hyman explores the area of tacit knowledge with reference to Thomas Kuhn and paradigms

Apr 2018

Iain Orr - Facts and Truth, Guilt and Innocence - Philosophical Reflections on Jury Service – 08/04/2018:

see attached PDF for further details

Facts and Truth, Guilt and Innocence – Philosophical Reflections on Jury Service


Mar 2018

Philosophical Discussion – 04/03/2018:

We were hoping for a talk from Iain Orr but unfortunately he has been taken ill.   Members will still get together for a philosophical discussion at the Draft House.   Please join us

Feb 2018

Peter Fleming - Truth – 04/02/2018:


Peter’s background is not academic but has been as a practitioner in therapy.
The website of his organisation provides context