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Phoenix Philosophy Meetup Group Pages

ABOUT US

The Socrates Cafe Meetup Group exists to support its members to explore philosophy and philosophical constructs in a nonjudgmental, non-intimidating environment; to better understand the world and to enrich our own lives in meaningful ways. Our group explores the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence. Through our discussions, we seek to better understand human actions and motivations; as well as confront how we can know whether or not the conclusions we draw can be true, appropriate, and life-affirming.

Thus, we discuss and delve into topics involving how human beings treat one another (ethics and politics); the study of knowledge and cognition (epistemology); the nature of human actions and ambitions (metaphysics), as well as topics involving the expression and refueling of man’s consciousness (art).

And because we are an all-inclusive group, members do not need to know a thing about philosophy to attend and fully enjoy our Meetups. That's because content of our discussions is at a level that any lay person would easily understand, but also at a depth that would thrill any scholar! (We want to feel that each Meetup allows attendees to take something away of value and meaning by virtue of the nature of our discussions and activities.) Ideally, with each Meetup, members learn more about philosophy, as well as more about themselves; while having fun in the process!

Group discussions are typically preceeded by a half hour of socializing and member introductions; and then the discussion portion is approximately two hours. Afterwards, some members may gather at a nearby post-Meetup location for more fun and scintillating conversation!

Participation from our members is encouraged, not just by attending Meetups, but also in scheduling events that would be of interest to fellow members. If there is a topic of a philosophical nature you'd like to explore, or an activity you'd like to engage in with group members, please feel free to contact the Organizer and he'll do whatever he can to make it happen!

WHY STUDY PHILOSOPHY?

>Philosophy enhances your problem-solving capacities by contributing to your ability to organize ideas and issues, and to extract what is essential from masses of information.
>Philosophy helps you to distinguish between different viewpoints and to discover common ground among them.
>Philosophy helps you to appreciate a variety of perspectives so they can be synthesized into a unified whole.
>Philosophy helps to eliminate ambiguities and vagueness from your speech, and enables you to present what is distinctive about your position through the use of systematic argumentation.
>Philosophy develops your ability to explain and communicate difficult material.
>Philosophy enhances your persuasive powers by providing training in the construction of clear formulations, good arguments, and apt examples that allow you to forcefully articulate and defend your points of view.
>Philosophy teaches good interpretive, comparative, argumentative, and descriptive writing skills that will allow you to communicate ideas in a clear and powerful way.
Philosophy is uniquely well-suited to preparing students for law school.
>Philosophy teaches you to think analytically, to write and speak clearly and persuasively, to evaluate evidence, to construct and present sound arguments, to recognize flaws in opposing arguments, and to have a deep sense of justice—skills which are essential to the legal profession.
>Philosophy is one of the best ways into graduate or medical school.
>Philosophy’s lessons of analytical thinking, clear expression, and good writing are indispensable to the graduate student in any discipline.
>Philosophy’s lessons of the rational evaluation of evidence, analytical problem-solving, isolating the essential elements from complex bodies of data, and thinking in a holistic manner are skills essential to anyone entering the medical profession.
>Developing philosophy's critical thinking skills offer the best defense against foolishness and falsehoods.
>Philosophy allows you to see through cultural and intellectual fads.
>Philosophy protects you from the often empty posturing of politicians.
>Philosophy insulates you from the often inane prattling of media pundits and commentators.
>Philosophy defends you from the slippery claims of advertisers and salespeople.
>Philosophy protects you from foolish opinions and everyday nonsense.
>Philosophy is one of the best ways of enriching your life, even as it prepares you for life.
>Philosophy broadens the range of things that you can understand and enjoy.
>Philosophy makes a substantial contribution to your expressive powers.
>Philosophy enhances your self-knowledge, foresight, and sense of direction in life.
>Philosophy provides special pleasures of insight to your reading and conversation.
>Philosophy can lead to self-discovery, an expansion of consciousness, and self-renewal.
>Philosophy nurtures individuality and self-esteem.
>Philosophy brings you into contact with the most important and fundamental human questions.



ABOUT SOCRATES CAFE

What is Socrates Cafe?
Socrates Cafe is the name given to philosophy discussion groups promoted by The Society for Philosophical Inquiry (www.philosopher.org).


Who was Socrates?
Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher who taught Plato who then taught Aristotle. The Socratic Method refers to how he searched for truth through "simple-minded" questioning of another's beliefs and opinions.


"Socratic Questions" for Finding Truth (defined as "conformity with fact or reality")
1) Causality: What underlying premises or overlying objectives caused a belief? Do all logically flow?
2) Contradiction: Do premises, beliefs, and/or objectives contradict? Is there a contradicting example?
3) Circumstance: In what situation does an acceptable premise, belief, or objective become unacceptable?
4) Absurdity: Are there absurd or unacceptable consequences in holding a premise, belief, or objective?
5) Analogy: What comparison or metaphor can provide insight? Where does the analogy break down?
6) Antithesis: Can you better understand an idea by examining its opposite?
7) Empathy: What would it take for you to react to an idea in the same way as someone else?
8) Proof: What evidence or authority supports statement as being in conformity with fact or reality?
9) Paraphrase: Can you restate someone's position to their satisfaction to confirm your understanding?


Ethical Approaches: Rationally (i.e. non-instinctually) choosing the good, right, fair, and best.
This list is from an article published by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics ''A Framework for Thinking Ethically''
- Utilitarian: Will doing this be long-term cost-beneficial: creating the most good or least harm in the long-term?
- Rights: Will doing this violate an entitlement? What's source of claim or restriction? Is right positive or negative?
- Fairness/Justice: Would you want this done to you? Are equals treated equally? Are guidelines logically applied?
- Common Good: Will doing this improve your community's quality/survivability? What do you owe community?
- Virtue: Will doing this be admirable and life-affirming? What's source of your virtues? Who's your idol or ideal?


Virtues from the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Church. Virtues are habits that cultivate admiration, well-being, and Arete: Moral Excellence

1. Platonic: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, Justice

2. Aristotelian
-Intellect: Rationality
-Ability: Courage, Temperance
-Property: Generosity, Good-willing
-Honor: Pride, Assertiveness, Anger-Controlled
-Social: Wittiness, Truthfulness, Friendliness
-Political: Justice

3. Stoic: Wisdom, Prudence, Self-Control

4. Roman: Courage, Honor, Duty, Depth, Authority, Religious

5. Holy: Chastity, Abstinence, Liberality, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility

6. Theological: Faith, Hope, Love


What are Logical Fallacies?
Check this post on the Message Board. Each definition contains the fallacy it explains.

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About Phoenix Philosophy Meetup Group November 5, 2009 9:35 AM Steve

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