Philosophy Club

  • February 1, 2014 · 2:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

What: Philosophy Discussion Group

When: 1st Saturday of each month, from 2pm – 5pm
(3 hours, including a break)

Where: Justin & Tammy's house in Richardson [*BYOD&S]

How: Readings discussed in-depth amongst the group. No tests, no lecture… we help teach each other in a spirit of learning.

We will usually be reading from a book one will have to purchase, but sometimes there will be articles provided online.


Meeting Topic & Reading List


SEP Article on Pragmatism (available here).

William James excerpt (here, login as philclub, password is the name of the street we'll be meeting on, one word, all lowercase)

Rudolf Carnap excerpt (here, same login and password)

Sections[masked] of Justin's book manuscript (here, same login and password)


Meeting Format

10 minute introduction to the material

Depending on attendence, we may split into smaller groups (4 - 8 people)

2 part group discussion of readings with a 10 minute break in between

Reconvene into large group to share highlights of small group discussions




Readings are not neccessarily required, but we ask that you please stay on topic during the discussion.

We are teaching each other in a "spirit of learning": we should be humble (we do not know everything), eager to learn, and willing to challenge each other while being kind and considerate.

There will be people of various backgrounds in philosophy — you do not need to be an expert in philosophy to be in the group (e.g. I'm not; Justin is).  If a topic is new to you, here are some good resources, if you are interested:
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy





[*BYOD&S] "Bring Your Own Drink & Snack".  You might get thirsty or hungry — feel free to bring whatever (non-alcoholic) drinks and snacks you'd like (preferably something shareable with the group).
— A note to those with cat-related allergies: Justin and Tammy have cats — one of whom will be rather happy to mingle with all the nice people who came to see him....
>^. . ^<



In a post on Common Sense Atheism, "How to Do Philosophy Better", Luke Muehlhauser summarizes an essay by Paul Graham. In that essay, Graham proposes the following:


Here's an intriguing possibility. Perhaps we should do what Aristotle meant to do, instead of what he did. The goal he announces in the Metaphysics seems one worth pursuing: to discover the most general truths. That sounds good. But instead of trying to discover them because they're useless, let's try to discover them because they're useful.

— Paul Graham, "How to Do Philosophy"


Given a lot of our common values, I think we can study philosophy in a way that helps us, that is useful to us, rather than as something that is considerably esoteric or futile.


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  • Clayton S.

    Intelligent group engaged in meaningful discussion was my experience

    February 1, 2014

  • Joel

    Just got finished doing battle with a water heater problem. I was hoping this was at 3 but rather than show up past the mid point I will join in next month when I can do it right. No plumbing BS before hand either. :(

    February 1, 2014

  • Ken H.

    We had a good day @ Starbucks today after doing breakfast @ IHOP. Adjourned @ 3:00 and I invited them to come to your Sat. event as well.

    January 26, 2014

  • Ken H.

    This is my first visit with you folks and I'm looking forward to the experience. I'm the co-organizer of the Denton Atheist MeetUp, as well as the organizer of the Wise Free Thinkers & Skeptics MeetUp in Decatur which meets tomorrow @ Starbucks in Decatur.

    January 25, 2014

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