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New Meetup: Philosophy Cafe - Cafe Philosophique

From: Michaela
Sent on: Monday, October 4, 2010 2:56 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Philosophy Cafe - Cafe Philosophique!

What: Philosophy Cafe - Cafe Philosophique

When: Tuesday, October 12,[masked]:30 PM

Where: Au Coquelet,
2000 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94701

Those of you coming, please try to think of a topic or 2, so that we have a number to choose from. Here's a website with many philosophical topics:

No philosophical background needed. We throw out topics with a philosophical bent and then we vote on which one to discuss. Some may have also heard of it as 'Socrates Cafe'. This is not a discussion about other philosophers, but our own philosophies of life.

Please come with an open mind. We all have opinions that we've formed due to various reasons. Someone thinking the opposite is not necessarily wrong, but may have had a different life experience, which is usually the basis of our opinions. Please disregard your feelings about the person speaking and judge his/her words by their own merits alone. We tend to favor words of people we like and want to disregard opinions of people we don't care for, but that means that we may miss some great learning experiences.

There seems to be one main ingredient that can make the difference between a good and a bad discussion: Respect .

If everybody respects another's opinions and thoughts, then people will feel comfortable enough to let their guard down and really listen. That's what's usually necessary for us to be open to learn, to maybe look at an opposite opinion and see things through the other person's eyes and find that maybe some of that resonates with our own thinking, without having to do a 180 degree turn. Those are the kinds of discussions where you walk away and the words will keep churning around in your head and will give you food for thought for some time to come. The total of a discussion like that is bigger than the sum of it's parts and there's almost a bond formed between the participants. It's a beautiful thing.

Something can easily turn into a 'bad discussion' by one person insisting that their way is the only way or by trying to shame another about their thoughts. If it becomes a debate, then people shut down and the whole purpose of this is lost. Please expect me to call you on it, if you do that. By the same token, I expect you to do the same to me, if I get out of line.

I have to cap the number of attendees, since it's really difficult to have a good discussion with more than 8-10 people. Please do not sign up if you're not sure about coming or change your rsvp to 'no' when your plans change. It would not be fair to others that are on the waitlist, if you flaked out and they didn't have the chance to come. I will delete you from the group, if you flake.

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