The aim of these meetups is to introduce us to the main western philosophers. We will discuss their ideas, try to understand them and perhaps critique them sometimes. We will also look at how their ideas have helped shape western thought and the impact they have had on western societies.
For each meetup participants will be asked, in preparation, to watch a video or videos on YouTube, listen to a radio programme and read relevant articles on the net. This is compulsory and there will be a list of key concepts and questions on the meetup page to guide the preparation and then the discussion at the meetup. Attendees are expected to contribute to the discussion, not only listen. If everyone comes to just listen there will be no discussion! We will all be learning so all views are welcome but they must be based on knowledge acquired from watching the videos and reading.
Everyone is encouraged to read and listen to more. There is a wealth of information on the net, texts for those who prefer to read and videos to watch/ listen to on Youtube. For the more ambitious of us and those who have the time why not also read something of the original texts by the philosopher in question.
Note: This meetup group requires specific knowledge of the philosopher in question before a discussion can take place. We can't just turn up and see how it goes. The questions and points are designed to help us acquire enough knowledge for the discussion to happen. However, this requires a certain amount of preparation and time. Please decide early on if you can/want to attend and start preparing in advance. If you leave it the last day you may not have time to do it and then you drop out. This leaves no time for the person who replaces you to prepare.
Authenticity Melvyn Bragg In Our Time Radio 4.
This programme is used as the starting point for a discussion on philosophers’ ideas about being authentic.
The views of Aristotle, St Augustin, Rousseau, Kierkegaard, Kant, Nietzsche, and Heidegger are discussed concluding with Sartre. Simone de Beauvoir is also mentioned in the programme, her ideas and interaction with Sartre. More recent ideas about authenticity within psychology (Donald Winnicott) are touched on.
Identify the philosophers/ thinkers who have expressed views on the questions below and form your own responses.
Does social existence corrupt human beings and stifle compassion and consequently our authentic response?
Does Christianity/ monotheism make us act in servile fear and not act in accordance with our own belief of right and wrong?
Do pressures to please others or to gain respect by society stop us acting authentically?
Consider the questions below for our discussion:
Do any of the philosophers follow their own views on authenticity in their everyday lives?
Is it possible to live in society and be authentic?
Is authenticity a valid goal to be pursued?
Is authenticity a modern fixation on self, borne out of capitalism?
Is authenticity something to be striven for?
To what extent are we free to be autonomous?
Is an authentic self a myth?
Contribution by participants to cover meetup fee cost: £2