04 Jan 2015
Iain Orr – Chiroperomorphism: What is it Like to be a Nagel ?

What we can “know” or imagine about other lives (including earlier ourselves), human, animal plant or mineral.Some Links that might help:



there are more references in the Wikipedia article:



 01 Feb 2015
Heward Wilkinson – Two Cultures: Can a Card-Carrying Leavisite endorse Snow’s Benthamism without DoubleThink ?


Stripped of the venom, what were the real issues behind Leavis’s denunciation of Snow in 1962? I am going to argue that Leavis’s prime concern was the degeneration of standards in the ‘reading public’, and nothing to do with science and technology at all, except in so far as the admass culture of the ‘global village’ was his concern. Therefore, I believe we can re-open the question, how far a Benthamite ‘social engineering’ agenda such as Snow’s is actually incompatible with Leavis’s fundamental concerns, and how far the argument was simply about slogans? I shall touch on the analogy with the work of Rupert Sheldrake, author of ‘The Science Delusion’, who is not ‘anti-science’ but is concerned with foundational assumptions which underpin science.http://leavissociety.com/



 01 Mar 2015
Ben Basing – Two Cultures, Panpsychism and Bears


The Group’s recent discussion of ‘Two Cultures’ highlighted a separation of arts and sciences in English culture and set me thinking about other things I’ve read recently and what culture is, as something shared by humanity and maybe other things- even bears!

 05 Apr 2015
Dr. Helena Marconell – And there is no more Philosophical Twist’, but did it give Rise to the Scientific Revolution of the XVIIth century as some Scholars have Claimed ?


A lot of what might have been a normal development in science in the sense that philosophical discourse could not explain new observed phenomena of the physical world in the XVIIth century, was attributed with exaggeration to almost just the one scientist, Newton (1642 – 1726) as if he had discovered a new world. In reality, it was a tangible need for philosophy to move onto a new structure and network of mathematical axioms to explain the new observed physical phenomena of new instruments such as the air-pump that contributed to such development. Christiaan Huygens’ (The Hague 1629-1695) geometrical method in the ‘Horologium Oscillatorum’ (1673) was able to explain complex dynamics of the clock but was not enough to expound on the physical phenomena that were fascinating the scientists of the time.

 03 May 2015
Iain Orr – Tasting the Coffee, or What are Dimensions and why are those for Space and Time so Puzzling?


The aim is to explore the concept of dimensionality and how we measure inter-subjectively the impressions of the world that we experience through our senses. What sense can we make of Space having more or less than three dimensions; or of Time having more than one? And what differences, if any, distinguish each of the traditional three spatial dimensions?

 07 Jun 2015
Bob Clarke – Life (Part 2)
‘Life (Part 2)’ will examine how we can make progress in understanding aspects of Life – Life in all its forms, including The Biosphere and Human Life and Consciousness. It will compare ‘Top-Down’ (organic and integrated) understandings of Life with ‘Bottom-Up’ (reductionist) understandings and will argue that significant progress is being made by philosophers and scientists working in the middle ground where ‘Top-Down’ and ‘Bottom-Up’ understandings intermingle. We will briefly introduce three schools of thought on Life that thrive in this boundary terrain: ‘Artificial Life’, ‘Top-Down Causation’ and ‘Autopoiesis’. Prior attendance at the ‘Life (Part 1)’ talk is totally unnecessary for understanding what is going on here, and all Lifeforms are welcome to attend this presentation.

 05 Jul 2015
Chris Millar – Consciousness in Organisms, Consciousness in Things and Consciousness Itself – Why Life is a Static ?
In this talk I will be looking at why philosophy is distinct from science. Especially that philosophy is in a relationship to the unknown and also close to art in this respect. I will have something to say about a particularly philosophical work of art and the text that goes with it: this is Michael Craig Martin’s ‘Oak Tree,’ which is a glass of water and also mention Rene Magritte’s painting of a pipe with the caption, ‘this is not a pipe.’
At the same time there are scientists who think like philosophers and I attach great importance to the words of Richard Feynman the American physicist who famously said, ‘consciousness is a singular without a plural.’
There is no hard science in my talk even where I suggest a relationship to it. If my talk suggests a chief feature it might be playfulness…

 02 Aug 2015
Heward Wilkinson – A possible Trans-Rationalist Tradition in Philosophy.


 06 Sep 2015
Iain Orr – A debate on the subject of “non-human philosophy”

 04 Oct 2015
Ben Basing – The Truth in Photoshop
A camera is completely mechanical and objective, it never lies. Photoshop has become synonymous with fakery. But what we see is often what is depicted, not the picture. This means that some photoshopped distortions, despite being ‘wrong’ look like reality ought to. Doesn’t this mean reality doesn’t look like it really is? What is the truth about how things look?

 08 Nov 2015
Nick Hyman – Russell and Chomsky. Post-Cartesianism. Enlightenment and World’s Tuning
As with Voltaire earlier, Russell then Chomsky were widely influential public intellectuals, whose dissent became a new consensus, if not orthodoxy. How came this sage role, and did it detract from other work each achieved ?


Heward Wilkinson – Two Cultures (Feb 2015)

Ben Basing – Two Cultures, Panpsychism and Bears (Mar 2015)

Dr. Helena Marconell – the Scientific Revolution of the XVIIth century (Apr 2015)

Iain Orr – Tasting the Coffee (May 2015)

Heward Wilkinson – A possible Trans-Rationalist Tradition in Philosophy (Aug 2015)

Nicholas Hyman – Russell, then Chomsky: Post-Cartesianism, public intellectuals and enlightening the world Part 1 (Nov 2015)