What we're about
Cutting edge discussions yet timeless truths! Weary of the "same old same old"? Want to meet very interesting people outside the customary? Well come connect with others who are interested in Socrates Cafe, a philosophical community. Be a social thinker!
Our basic guidelines, established centuries ago in Plato's Dialogues, are that all opinions expressed need to be supported by reasons, and that all assumptions need to be examined. Dialogue is not a competition, a sport or debate with winners and loses. Nor are members allowed to dominate the dialogue at the Socrates Cafe solely for the purpose of expressing off-topic personal political, religious, or ideological opinions.
Certainly personal opinions enter the dialogue, but the Socrates Cafe is not a ideological megaphone for one member. Rather we challenge the "conventional wisdom" in the spirit of open-minded inquiry and friendly objectivity. We are a laboratory where member opinions are tested by the Socratic Method, not a group with an agenda where everyone seeks confirmation of their preconceived opinions.
This Takoma Park/Silver Spring-based meetup was inspired by the 2001 book Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy by Christopher Phillips. Our model is described in Wikipedia:
Socrates Cafés are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences while embracing the Socratic Method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socratic_method). The groups model their discussions from the book of the same name Christopher Phillips; there are over 400 ongoing gatherings around the globe coordinated by hundreds of volunteers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates_Cafe
We delight in our ability to wonder about-and inquire into-deeper meanings. After all as children we always asked "why." It only comes naturally. Indeed if it had not been for the "why question" we would still be in the cave. And if people want to talk about deeper questions of meaning and reality solely from the vantage point of the animal kingdom they have missed the point of the Socrates Cafe entirely. We are adult humans engaged in rational (human) dialogue. And FYI the organizer is an animal lover who has great sympathy for the animal kingdom:)
And while philosophy draws on facts and findings compiled by the "humanistic" sciences (sociology, psychology etc.), philosophy is a broader inquiry not restricted by specialist assumptions (including the natural sciences).
Hope to see you soon!
Feel free to email me with any questions or comments.