Q: If you had to declare a manifesto for this group, what would it be?
A: That philosophy is for everybody. That, while it uses abstraction, its value rests on its concrete utility in everyday life. For example, you don't have to know how to program a computer to benefit from one (though of course you can do more with it if you know how it works).
Q: I'm very busy ‐ what preparation is involved?
A: We do not assign reading, because we are interested in your original thinking. As the theme of each meeting is announced in advance, it would be helpful if you would think of a personal story that grounds the theme realistically. Don't worry about it, though: you may think of one on the spot.
Q: I'm too busy preparing my own treatise on topic X to participate in a group discussion.
A: Everyone has to manage their own priorities, but people do underestimate the value of open interaction with their peers. If you find yourself going over the same questions and answers, then maybe it's time to expose yourself to other perspectives. Try proposing a theme relating to topic X and see what you get for two hours of your time.
Q: Where can I get more information?
A: Besides checking out the announcements of previous meetings, you can visit the Message Boards ("Meeting summaries", "What Is Philosophy Cafe?") under the Discussion menu, and the full FAQ in the Pages tab. Or...why not just come chat with us some Tuesday?
Welcome, Berkeley Philosophers!
5 days ago · 7:30 PM
May Socrates Cafe
This month we will take up the topic of TIME. We'll discuss our experience of the phenomenon and why, most curiously, physics and philosophy haven't had a great deal to... Learn more
April 21 · 7:30 PM
April Socrates Cafe
Come join us for the Socrates Cafe! The format is simple: At the beginning of the evening, attendees consider topics for discussion. The group then charts a course for... Learn more
March 24 · 7:15 PM
March Socrates Cafe
This March we inaugurate a new monthly meeting of the Berkeley Philosophy Cafe that will engage in the classic Socrates Cafe format. The format is simple: At the... Learn more
February 16 · 7:00 PM
No February meeting
Let's take February off. Probably significant changes coming soon. A quieter venue and smaller groups would be a good (re)start.
I've left the proposed meetings up,... Learn more
January 12 · 7:00 PM
This World Is A Trap
Philosophers are reliable pessimists, each with their own gut-wrenching variation on the hopelessness of life, but the metaphor of the trap captures the essential... Learn more