The Philosophy Group is hosted
by Irene Bentley in Hazel Grove.
It Meets every 4-5 weeks on Monday afternoons at 2pm and is open to new
Previous knowledge of the subject is required.
Each meeting deals with a topic - either a philosopher, a school of
philosophical thought, or an idea viewed from a philosophical
perspective. Meetings take the form of a talk/ presentation, followed
by a focussed discussion.
As an alternative to group members giving presentations, we will be
making use of pre-recorded audio/ visual talks and discussions to form
the basis of some future meetings.
We are also hoping to assemble a body of literature from which members
will be able to borrow should they wish to pursue a particular interest
in more depth, or just for general reading.
Anyone interested in joining or for more information, please contact me.
Notes from 8th September At our meeting on 8th
september, Michael gave a talk on
Edmund Burke and contrasted his
beliefs with those of Thomas
Their agreement on on the issue of American Independence and their
opposite views on the French Revolution were discussed. The events
subsequent to these two conflicts were compared to contemporary
problems in places such as Iraq and we saw that a parallel could be
drawn between approaches to problems then and now. We also discussed
how the current question of Scottish Independence might be tackled from
Notes from 6th October
At the October meeting, we tried out a new format using a
pre-recorded radio programme as the basis of our discussion.
'Common Sense Philosophy', a Radio 4 programme from Melvyn Bragg's
series 'In Our Time' was prepared and presented by John Ashton.
The guests were A. C. Grayling, Melissa Lane and Alexander Brady.
From time to time the recording was paused so that the group had a
chance to discuss the points raised and consider whose point of view
they associated themselves with. We heard about the approaches of
different philosophers to the innate vs learnt conundrum. In particular
the views of Locke, Plato, Descartes, Hume and Reid were examined.
The general consensus was that the format worked and should be
repeated, perhaps with some small adjustments. It gives us the
chance to hear experts in different fields discuss, and of course
disagree, about philosophical issues from their various
perspectives. We have a long list of topics to choose from in
this series alone.
Notes from 3rd November
Our meeting yesterday concentrated on the subject of 'Women
In Philosophy'. Diane Saxon gave a presentation showing a
time-line of female philosophers and we discussed how many of them had
been instrumental in advancing the knowledge and work of better-known
male philosophers. Many of the women had been denied education
and other opportunities because of their sex and had acquired their
We looked at Ellie Levenson's list of Top Ten Women Philosophers and
considered who would want on it and who we thought did not live up to
the claims being made for them in their brief descriptions. A
further two women were looked at in more detail. Susan Stebbing and
Dorothy Mary Emmett, both twentieth century philosophers, were
discussed and their lives, work and influences considered.
Following which, several members of the group expressed an interest in
finding out more about them.
The next meeting on 1st. December wil be the Christmas Party.
Memebers are asked to bring a contribution to the event in the form of
food, puzzles, quizzes, or anything else they deem appropriate.
The first meeting of 2015 will be on 12th January, when John will lead
a discussion on Justice.