Thank you for joining the DC Philosophy Cafe. I am your organizer, Paul Van Fleet, and I look forward to working with you not only to broaden known philosophical perspectives, but also to introduce new paradigms of thoughts that might cause you to look at the world in a new way.
A word at this point should also be directed to the previous organizer of this Meetup, Steven Easley, and should you meet him at one of our get-togethers, know that it was his ambition that started this group, and credit should be given to him for keeping this going for several years. Excelsior to you, Mr. Easley, and best of luck in your new ventures.
There is an old saying: The fox knows many things; the hedgehog one great thing.
There are many philosophers that are hedgehogs. They approach every problem with the same paradigm that served them well in one instance, and when it fails, they come up with great rationalizations to cover for it, when the real answer is that it simply cannot account for the situation at hand. We at the DC Philosophy Cafe encourage you to develop your viewpoints so that when one may fail you, another arises to take its place. Be like water, as Bruce Lee put it, so you can trickle, flow, and crash when needed. The great lesson of life is not to cling to rocks, but to learn how to swim.
The formats of this group will vary. On occasion, we will have more general topics that revolve around a modern idea or phenomenon. At other times, we might be in the middle of a series on a school of thought or a branch of philosophy. I also aim to introduce speakers and experts in certain fields of philosophy to speak to our members about topics that either interest the group or that the speaker may be writing about or teaching.
I look forward to member support as well. We all have our own ideas and perspectives to share, and I ask that we do so in the spirit of improvement, as opposed to "winning the argument." Also be aware that no topic is off the table, and those who are unwilling to engage honestly in the debates that will arise will not only regress, but ruin it for the rest of those involved.
So, let's jump into the subject matter at hand with the knowledge that we are all philosophers, and that everything has some element of philosophy within it. Think of the world in this way, and you will live an examined life, well worth living.