It’s a pleasure to share my enthusiasm for philosophy with you, and thank you for visiting my website. Apart from academic work, I give lectures and conduct courses on various philosophical subjects to the general public.
My community courses on philosophy bring together people from many different walks of life and backgrounds. They are held in venues such as: community learning centres, meeting rooms, cafés and pubs, as well as university extension programs.
In classical times, Greek peripatetic philosophers walked about Athens philosophising with whom ever was interested. Socrates and the Stoics of the Hellenic period being the most notable. Epicurus had a garden community in which interested people gathered to engage in the philosophical life; he included women and slaves, which caused something of a scandal in Athens at the time. So there is an ancient tradition of people gathering together to discuss the big questions of life, the universe, and everything.
Today, many philosophers lead busy lives in academia, and mostly our lectures and tutorials are out of reach of people outside of that setting. However, community courses such as mine give people the opportunity to discover what philosophy is, and to learn about it in ways that make it easier to understand and enjoy. The courses and sessions also give people the opportunity to meet like-minded others in their own communities.
Why have a philosophical community Group?
- To advance an understanding of philosophy and ethics.
- To offer people the opportunity to engage in an informal, fun exploration of the big ideas of philosophy that have shaped our world.
- To form friendships with people who value rationality and knowledge.
- To form a community of enquiry (Socratic Circle) that promotes critical thinking and constructive thought.
- To provide a structure for people to strive for less prejudiced and unexamined opinions.
Moreover, the Socratic Circle enables us to be more considerate members of society, who accept differences and who contribute constructively to our families and society.
Once a group has formed we become a community of enquiry, otherwise known as a Socratic circle. We engage in deep thinking, the exploration of big ideas, and we grapple with the challenges and possibilities that present themselves from the three core areas of philosophy:
- Metaphysics: the fundamental nature of the world and being. What is existence? What is the nature of reality? What is being?
- Epistemology: the grounds for human knowledge. How do we know what we know? What if anything can humans know for certain, and,
- Ethics: the evaluation of human conduct. What is right and wrong? What is justice, love, courage? How should we live? What is the good life?
These are just some of the questions for us to think about. To assist us with this, the works of some of the greatest philosophers from these three core areas are presented each week with the opportunity to discuss their ideas.
If you are interested in joining a Socratic Circle or hosting one in your community please contact me via this website.
(Socrates 469–399 B.C.E.)