London Philosophy Club Reading Group NEW DATE FOR JANUARY MEETING

'As I grew up I became increasingly interested in philosophy, of which [my family] profoundly disapproved. Every time the subject came up they repeated with unfailing regularity, "What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind." After some fifty or sixty repetitions, this remark ceased to amuse me. (Betrand Russell).

With this in our heads, the next few meetings will focus on some issues in the philosophy of mind.

The proposed readings for the 15th January are by René Descartes and Gilbert Ryle.

Descartes, The Meditations I-VI. There are various translations freely available on the web. The classic translation by Haldane and Ross is available from Amazon, starting at £0.84.

If you are pressed for time, then Meditations II and VI, are the important ones for our purpose. The aim is to engage with his notion of the mind and its relationship to the body, so we are less concerned with his proof of God (but that's up to the individual believer).

The classic response to this is Gilbert Ryle, The Concept of Mind (Chap. 1).

Both the Descartes and the Ryle, and many others, are included in the comprehensive reader The Philosophy of Mind, edited by David J. Chalmers. (Around £25).


This reader also includes the two proposed readings for our February session, which will be held at the Hoop & Grapes on Tuesday 4th February. The waiting list will be opened for this after the January meeting, but - because of its proximity to that - it might be worth looking ahead.

The first reading for February is Rudolf Carnap 'Psychology in Physical Language' and the rejoinder to both Ryle and Carnap is Hilary Putnam 'Brains and Behaviour'. If you don't want to buy the Chalmers reader, then the original place of publication for the Putnam is R. Butler (ed.) Analytical Philosophy: Second Series (1968). [the date is important]. Various offers on Abebooks for around £3-5. The Carnap is here on the web (

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  • Pete B.

    Hi David, you don't appear to be on the list of those currently attending, so I'm not sure what the e-mail saying that you were meant. It looks like you're second on the waiting list to me - so perhaps someone will drop out by tomorrow. Best wishes Pete

    January 14, 2014

    • Steve W.

      Peter, I may have a possible alternative venue. Email me on [masked] Hope to see you on the 4th anyway. Thanks again for a very nice time Wednesday. Steve.

      January 16, 2014

  • Joe F.

    I have my doubts about anything existing in time but not in space.
    The Eifel Tower we discussed: When you physically see it with your eyes does the body’s perception of the tower not also exist in both space and time at the very moment it is represented in the brain as a series of neuronal electro-chemical impulses? When you, from memory, visualize the tower with your eyes closed does there not exist a similar neuronal electro-chemical representation in your brain of the tower? Can it be correct to say that a thought exists in time but not in space even if we are not able (for the moment or maybe never) to ‘read’ or discipher this neuronal representation?

    January 16, 2014

  • Thomas D.

    There were some enjoyable and perceptive contributions. Thank you, Pete, as ever, for your erudite chairmanship.

    January 16, 2014

  • Godfrey S.

    Informative and enjoyable, with an interesting range of ideas, some of them based on having read the agreed texts.

    January 15, 2014

  • Sonia

    The old grey matter is still processing it, but I can't fault it. Perfect. More, please.

    January 15, 2014

  • Sonia

    The old grey matter is still processing it, but I can't fault it. Perfect. More, please.

    January 15, 2014

  • Irina

    Hi Pete, apologies wouldn't be able to get there tonight - stuck at work arghh.

    January 15, 2014

  • David B.

    Morning all...One email says I'm attending but the website says I'm on the waiting list. Any idea how I can confirm which is which?

    January 13, 2014

  • Steve W.

    Sheesh . . . maybe not. Just seen how many attending . . . ahhhh!

    January 7, 2014

  • Steve W.

    Looking forward to it! First round on me????????

    January 7, 2014

  • Tas

    Ok! I am new -- WOW ... ! Vry scary .... I'll use the word "dude's" .. just to try and express my eye brow's.. av just lifted and, my eye balls.. are vry stretched and boldly right now.... And I av shrunken into my tiny person self... scratching my head .. wot av I done..

    January 1, 2014

  • Sue H.

    I should be interested in coming to this

    December 13, 2013

    • Shoaib K.

      Hi how r u i like you and want to be friend ship with you if you dont mind

      December 25, 2013

  • Steve W.

    Yes, I'll be there. If you want to catch a magazine I edit go to We are looking for more contributors and feedback generally

    December 13, 2013

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