[Philosophy 100] First meeting: Discuss books, goals and process

After the Zarathustra MeetUp, it was suggested we do some separate philosophy-specific MeetUps; a kind-of "Philosophy 100".

I thought Kojeve's work might be a good one to start with. His lectures on Hegel - though perhaps not so well-known - were attended by some of the most prominent French thinkers in the twentieth century, including: Jean-Paul Sartre, Raymond Queneau, Georges Bataille, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, André Breton, Jacques Lacan and Raymond Aron. I also choose it because it's a book I've always wanted to tackle properly.

We may break the book into smaller chunks for the MeetUps, as doing the entire thing in one go would be a bit daunting.

If there's enough interest in a Philosophy 100 we can even look at setting-up a separate meetup for it.

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  • Mischa B.

    The next meetup needs two additional sign-ups before it's announced. If you're thinking of attending (Jan 3rd), please sign-up for it:

    http://www.meetup.com/hungryhundred/events/95327432/

    Thanks to those that joined for the first meeting: Joe, Thomas and Mark

    December 15, 2012

  • Joe G.

    it was great - 20 ppl showed up ! according to what was noted on this page.

    December 14, 2012

  • Mischa B.

    Charmaine, you can ring either Mark or me. My cell is: 9424 7470. Looking forward to seeing everyone tonight!

    December 13, 2012

  • Charmaine

    Hi, I will be late for this so I just wanted to know if you guys will be staying late? Also, in case Pigeonhole is a no go tonight, how can I find you all?

    December 13, 2012

  • Shama K.

    I'm not sure that I'll be able to come along at this stage... in case its a 'Go' is there something we should be reading ahead? :-) I like philosophy - I think if we don't ask 'why' (even for seemingly simple questions we will never know ourselves well enough. And that is the root of many problems, big and small. I'd like to attend, if there's still space for people & if time permits.

    December 13, 2012

  • Valerie

    Hello folks, I just invited myself into this conversation, hope that's ok. This seemed like an interesting thing to do on a Thursday night, so if there is room I would like to come along? The one thing I would say is that, looking at the Pigeonhole's website, they are hosting a talk by 'Give Connection' on philanthropy in Asia at around the same time tomorrow - not sure the cafe is big enough for that many philosophers and philanthropists in one sitting?

    December 13, 2012

  • Joe G.

    http://www.thepigeonhole.com.sg/ - this is another possible location, very close to Group Therapy. im not sure how packed that place is going to be. another meetup i attended use that place, and a local band (Seyra) had their single launched there. maybe to prevent confusion, lets aim to meet at Group Therapy - and then we can move abit to find a suitable location to sit and grow roots.

    December 7, 2012

    • Mark

      Never been to the pigeonhole before, but would be fine with it if there's enough space and it's not noisy. Well yeah I suppose we could meet outside Group Therapy (which will be closed) then wander... hopefully there'll be a place around there with enough room for the number of people who turn up... but in case some people come late we'll have to make sure we inform them of where we'll actually end up settling...

      December 9, 2012

    • Mischa B.

      I've changed the locale to Pigeonhole. Hopefully, we can catch any stragglers from group therapy on the evening.

      December 11, 2012

  • Mischa Beitz changed the location from Group Therapy Coffee to The Pigeonhole

    December 9, 2012

  • Tse C.

    tentative but might have to give this a pass. 13th is not a good day for me. Likely to OT..... Can I know how late do you guys intend to stay?

    December 7, 2012

  • Joe G.

    OH. Mark is saying it closes at 6 pm on Thurs ? alternatively, we can still meet outside the spot, and then walk around Duxton area until we find a suitable location - it would be fun. im hoping there are a few of those quaint little places.

    December 7, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am still stuck work.. :/ I was looking fwd to.this.. but don't think I can make it!

    December 6, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Wow.. this is definitely not embarassing..!!

      December 6, 2012

    • Joe G.

      its ok - it shows how much u really wanna come down for the event - and the good news is - u going to catch it next week ! :)

      December 7, 2012

  • Caleb Y.

    Its my first exposure to philosophy. I will be there guys....

    December 6, 2012

  • Mark

    I think it'll be closed at that time - its website says from Tuesdays to Thursdays it closes at 6pm.

    December 6, 2012

  • Mischa Beitz changed the location to Group Therapy Coffee

    December 5, 2012

  • Mischa B.

    I'm suggesting we meet at Group Therapy (49 Duxton Road, second floor). Any other suggestions?

    December 5, 2012

    • Joe G.

      sounds good. i guess u r right, 18 is unlikely. the venue should be big enough for 2 ppl (since only 2 of us are commenting) - Group Therapy it is. seeya ppl next week. :)

      December 5, 2012

  • Joe G.

    Hanz is usually quite spacious n should be able to accommodate 18 ppl. Alternatively, can always pick the place where we met for the "thus spake Zara" session (near bugis mrt)

    December 5, 2012

    • Joe G.

      it says 18 ppl are attending. does anyone else have some other ideas on where they would like this meetup to take place ? i guess just somewhere prefably near an MRT ? and can possibly accomodate 18 ppl...

      December 5, 2012

    • Mischa B.

      I'd be (very pleasantly) shocked, if we got 18 people in attendance. We could try Group Therapy (the cafe) on Duxton Road http://www.gtcoffee.c...­

      December 5, 2012

  • Lim Yee C.

    This meetup is a great idea! Unfortunately I can't attend on the 13th. Hopefully you guys go through with it, I think this is a group with much potential. Sorry I can't think of any specific suitable place... University campus seems appropriate though, maybe an alumni or two knows a couple of haunts.

    December 2, 2012

  • Mischa B.

    How does a meetup on either Thursday December 13th or Friday December 14th sound? Everyone can bring their book-lists and ideas and we can set out a plan.

    Please post your preference for date and - if you have a good one - a place to meetup . . . and we'll take it from there.

    November 27, 2012

    • Mark

      Either of those days would be alright for me.

      November 29, 2012

  • Mischa Beitz changed the date and time to Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    November 29, 2012

  • Joe G.

    can i ask for 13th Dec ? only cos i have an activity scheduled already on 14th. but i understand 14th is probably a prefered day cos its fri. fingers crossed then. also, i guess it may be difficult for everyone to agree on which book to start with - cos ppl are coming in at different levels (some exposure to philosophy vs maybe majoring in philosophy ?) and may have different expectations of what they hope to get out of this group. maybe the 1st meeting can be just an intro session where ppl can talk about their interest in philosophy and their expectations for this group ? im just happy to find a group that is happy to talk about philosophy.. :)

    November 27, 2012

  • Mischa B.

    It seems this idea hasn't died after all.

    One of the reasons for suggesting Kojeve's Introduction was that it's almost certainly an easier read that leaping into something like Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. It's one of the more important/influential 20th century works (setting the stage for a lot of post-WWII French philosophy) while focusing clearly on the thought of Hegel who is arguably one of the most pivotal (and difficult) figures in modern thought (being the terminus of German Idealism and the precursor to ... well, pretty much everyone - love him or hate him). Here's my suggestion: Let's have a preliminary meeting in mid-December. Come with suggestions of books you'd like to tackle, goals, etc. I'll give a little intro and contextualizing of Kojeve and his reading of Hegel. Then we discuss the list of books and decide at the meetup how we want to proceed. I'm keen on doing close, critical readings of texts in small doses; not a whole book a month. Thoughts?

    1 · November 26, 2012

    • Mark

      This is why, with all respect to Mischa, I would still suggest starting with foundational works such as Plato’s “Republic”, or Descartes’ “Meditations”. Kojeve’s book would be less hard than reading Hegel himself and somewhat foundational for post-WWII French theory, but the ideas would still be much more ‘advanced’ and less foundational than those centuries-old classics of philosophy. Having said that, I understand some people might find older works less interesting, and a 20th-century work more appealing; so if others decide they would prefer to tackle Kojeve, then sure, I would go along with it. Also, I agree with Mischa that it may be better to discuss parts of a book each time, rather an entire book at one shot. And his plan for the preliminary meeting sounds good. If it’s on a weekend I’d have difficulty making it, unfortunately, as I work weekends, though Fridays should be okay with me.

      November 27, 2012

    • Tse C.

      wouldn't mind starting with the classics. Preferably something more basic / less esoteric....

      November 27, 2012

  • Shama K.

    Are we still up for a philosophy meetup sometime in December? :-)

    November 26, 2012

  • Rachel

    I think this is a great idea! Even though I won't be able to make it to the discussion (I barely finish the 'book of the month' each month, plus my schedule doesn't accommodate too well with other popular meetup times), I think it would be great to see this as a regularly occurring event. Even if it's there's not much enthusiasm to begin with, I'm guessing it would grow with each successful meetup. This is just the kind of thing this meetup site should be used for. :)

    November 4, 2012

    • Joe G.

      *likes* well, hopefully, this thread doesnt die.

      November 5, 2012

  • Joe G.

    i was there at the Nietzsche book club - & i wished the philosophy interest groups would do stuff like this - instead of generic topics like "what does happiness mean". i understand the need to appeal to the masses and not overly intellectualize. i really like the idea of philosophy 101 group discussion. i guess the target population would be folks who wanted to do philo in uni, but didnt or it could be ppl who enjoyed philo, and would like a continuation of that, or they just miss the whole learning process (now that we are all just working folks, and never get such discussions ever again). i have little knowledge in philosophical issues - basic reading in uni & read those "10 things to know about Nietzsche / Jung / Freud" type of book (major was in psych). i admit i have no idea who Kojeve is, and like Mark suggested, would agree with starting with key basic classic figures. i got so carried away writing this - and needed to edit to keep to word limit. hahaha.

    November 4, 2012

  • Mark

    I would be interested in a "Philosophy 101" series of readings/discussions. However, as awfully traditionalist as this will probably sound, I think the best "Philosophy 101" works to start off with would be those of the basic classic figures like Plato, Gautama Buddha, Lao Tze, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke and/or Hume; and then perhaps moving on to the more advanced modern figures of Kant, the Romantics, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. I suspect Kojeve's reading of Hegel would be far too advanced to start off with, except for readers who already have some general appreciation of Kojeve's concerns and backgrounds. But if there're enough readers who'd like to tackle Kojeve, then sure, I suppose I'd be up for it..

    September 1, 2012

  • Mischa B.

    I'll leave this another week, then delete if there's no interest.

    August 31, 2012

  • Mischa B.

    Hrm . . . thought there'd more enthusiasm for this . . .

    August 28, 2012

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