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Suggest topics for future discussions

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  • This specific meetup announcement is simply a place for people to suggest and discuss topics that might be good candidate for future meetups of Cafe Philo. This announcement itself will not have an actual meeting.

    Simply post a comment on any topic category or specific question you would like to see discussed.

    The intent is not to enter into a full discussion of these topics here, but to discuss them enough so people can get a better feel for what the topic might encompass. And certainly there can be discussion of how to broaden or narrow a topic to enhance the eventual in-person discussions.

    There won't be any voting on topics here. Okay, sure, you CAN vote, but any preferences expressed here will not be binding on the persons attending actual Cafe Philo meetings where the actual suggestion and voting of topics occurs.

    We will start over with a blank slate for this discussion every three months or so. The previous discussions are of course archived, but the most recent version will be kept reasonably fresh.

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  • Olaf W.

    Hi everyone, I'd like to invite you to a series of free events I helped organizing, every Friday at 5pm, starting tomorrow (9/16), at the Rubin Museum of Art. The topic is "Chasing Consciousness".

    http://rubinmuseum.org/events/event/chasing-consciousness-09-16-16

    (Sorry for advertising, but I just thought many of you might be interested.)

    September 15

  • Nick A.

    I think the scheduled time beginning at 3:00 AM is a little early since many of us will just be finishing our preparations for the upcoming New year celebrations. A 4:00 AM start would be more appropriate and assure a better turnout

    1 · June 9

  • Madeleine

    I also entered this topic in the discussion section. Should western universities' basic 101 philosophy courses diversify to include Asian and African philosophy? Here is an oped and editorial about this controversy:

    http://www.nytimes.co...­

    http://newsbusters.or...­

    May 13

  • Chloe

    GUN CONTROL

    1 · February 4

  • Chloe

    DISCERNMENT

    February 4

  • Robert P.

    Is it an entitlement or a right?

    1 · June 15, 2015

  • Yen

    How can we discern what is wise?

    1 · July 21, 2015

    • BobM

      What makes emotions more valuable than logic ?

      1 · September 7, 2015

    • typ911411and718

      -.- that was MY question -.- ... BOB... ...but good luck on having that chosen...it's not really an understandable or accepted topic.... .. and why are you hijacking someone's thread of suggestions -.^?

      October 5, 2015

  • BobM

    Do our inner psyches ever change ?

    1 · October 4, 2015

  • typ911411and718

    What makes emotions more valuable than logic ?

    2 · September 6, 2015

  • Nish/Neesh

    Universal Human Rights? Future Rights for AI/ Extraterrestrials/Mutated Humans/etc?

    August 31, 2015

  • Robert P.

    Needs a location? What about limbo potentiality?

    August 21, 2015

  • Robert P.

    Leadership: authoritarian, democratic, or laissez-faire?

    1 · August 21, 2015

  • Robert P.

    What is emotional intelligence?

    1 · July 23, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are any of us better than the others?

    June 3, 2015

    • Robert P.

      Can a person better themselves?

      June 25, 2015

  • BobM

    What happened to Jack. I want Jack back.

    June 25, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is objectivity?

    What is subjectivity?

    What is the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity?

    1 · June 3, 2015

  • Robert P.

    How far do we go to question authority? When is authority good and when evil? What's the difference between authority and leadership? Does failure to honor authority lead to chaos?

    1 · May 30, 2015

  • Robert P.

    The philosophy of dogma. When is it wise to accept things on faith and when not? Re: When in Rome do as the Romans do.

    May 30, 2015

  • Robert P.

    Topic: Mindedness. Is it possible close mindedness can be a virtue and open mindedness a fault? For example those who have not made up their mind.

    1 · May 28, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    How are visions, fantasies, delusions, imagination, and plans related and distinct?

    How do we relate speculation and reality?

    May 26, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is desperation ever warranted?

    Or should we always defer to reality?

    May 26, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are any ideas worth clinging to?

    Or should reason and conviction always be our guides?

    May 26, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is the relationship between correlation and causality?

    How do we ascertain causality?

    May 25, 2015

  • Nick A.

    Does reality have any relevance of value for modern science and modern society or is imagination sufficient to preserve the status quo?

    1 · May 25, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      How do we balance reality and imagination?

      What was Walt Disney's secret for success?

      Or the founders of America, for that matter. (Although some people have never considered America a success more than an aberration that is ultimately doomed to fail.)

      May 25, 2015

    • Nick A.

      That is a big question. Objectively reality and imagination are mutually exclusive. But as we are, in Plato's cave asleep to reality, imagination expressed in certain qualities of art, mythology, and sacred text can open the mind to experience a greater more realistic perspective. The lie of love in Buddhism for example is a means through imagination to come to the experience of higher reality. A person has the choice of either allowing imagination to use them or to use it through contemplation as a step towards reality.

      May 25, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does Plato's theory of forms have any relevance of value for modern science and modern society?

    See:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms

    May 25, 2015

  • Robert P.

    How do men relate to women that is different from the way women relate to men and vice versa?

    May 24, 2015

    • Nick A.

      Men as a whole are dominated by the sin of pride or imagined self importance which allows astute women to control them through flattery. Women as a whole are dominated by the sin of vanity or the need to create an appearance at the expense of reality. Astute men control them through flattery. These are two different approaches but they both work in Plato's cave.

      May 25, 2015

    • Robert P.

      Nick, I will cave in and agree to what you said.

      May 25, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    If we cannot trust our senses, why do we have them, why would they have evolved?

    Is our survival not completely dependent on our senses?

    Are animals unable to trust their senses? If so, how do they survive?

    Or is an inability to trust our senses peculiar only to human animals?

    Or is the distrust of our senses a cultural construct?

    Or is the distrust of senses an outright fraud, perpetrated as a trick to see how gullible some people might be?

    May 25, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is free will free of?

    Free of God, the state , others, peer pressure, our own unconscious minds? Any of the above, all of the above?

    How can we tell?

    May 25, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is the relationship between semantics and meaning?

    May 24, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    How should we deal with hypothetical questions?

    Should we simply ignore them?

    Should we pretend they are real, when they are not?

    May 24, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What exactly did Socrates mean when he said that he knows nothing, or that he knows that he knows nothing?

    What was he trying to get at?

    What was he really trying to say?

    Was he simply asserting the difficulty of finding objective truth?

    Was he simply saying that there is always uncertainty in our knowledge?

    Why did he choose not to speak in plain language?

    Geez - no wonder they sentenced him to death, for his impious imperiousness towards the common man!

    Oh, and what EXACTLY did he say? How well was it translated to English?

    May 23, 2015

    • Robert P.

      I'd like to ask him but I'll bet he wouldn't know, lol.

      May 23, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      Maybe Socrates was the inspiration for German POW camp Sergeant Schultz of the TV show Hogan's Heros - who always insisted "I know NOTHING!".

      May 24, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is dialectic and does it have any positive, productive value in modern society or is it merely a diversion from real life?

    May 23, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    How do we know what we know?

    How do we know that we know?

    How do you know?

    How do we verify the veracity of what we think we know?

    Why do we believe what we believe?

    How do we verify the veracity of our beliefs?

    May 23, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Who gets to define the nature of God?

    Such as omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotentcy. Oh, and good and loving. Says who?! How can we know? Or is it all a matter of subjective faith?

    May 23, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is the nature of human nature?

    May 23, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What can philosophy really say of objective substance about the nature of a good life, other than the subjective opinions of individual philosophers?

    Is there any objective concept of virtue that philosophy can speak to?

    Are there any specific objective virtues that are not merely subjective opinion of individual philosophers?

    May 22, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Where would we be today if none of the great philosophers had never existed?

    May 22, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      ... had EVER existed?

      May 22, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Do people really need leaders?

    Why do people need leaders?

    Why do people tolerate leaders?

    Why do people want leaders?

    1 · May 22, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can there ever be a resolution of the conflict between those who are passionate about free will and those of equal passion who believe that it does not exist?

    Maybe that partially comes down to whether a definite proof of the existence or nonexistence of God can be developed - and people actually believe in it.

    Does everything happen because it is God's Plan or the Will of God?

    What would drive a God to create a universe without free will vs. a universe with free will?

    May 19, 2015

    • Robert P.

      If I make my decision based on the flip of a coin is that decision determined ahead of time when the coin itself has free will as no way can anyone pre-determine the coin flip results including the coin itself?

      May 19, 2015

  • Robert P.

    Why can't human energy be better placed? <-- I really don't know how to phase this topic. What I have in mind is problems of the world, like roads and bridges in this country are almost 3rd world and in need of repair. Gangs of unemployed young men roam our cities and cause trouble. Why can't these young men be hired under skilled leadership to fix our roads and bridges? Everyone would be happy if this could be done.

    1 · May 19, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      A lot of motorists and passengers get really upset when their travel is delayed due to... construction.

      May 19, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does evil exist?

    Which immediately begs the question of how evil is defined.

    2 · May 18, 2015

    • Robert P.

      Jack, evil is a strange term and various people want to define it their own way. I like the synonym, "destructive" and to use that word to explain what is going on. Unfortunately the term is not as sexy.

      May 18, 2015

  • Robert P.

    How important is it to be in control? Control of what ... as opposed to being passive?

    May 17, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      Is God in control, or did he just set the wheels in motion?

      May 17, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      A favorite metaphor: "Like ants on a log floating down the Mississippi, arguing over who's steering."

      May 17, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What is the relationship between criticism and self-criticism?

    What is the relationship between reflection on others and reflection on oneself?

    May 16, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Which do we ask more of, philosophy or science?

    Which should we ask more of, philosophy or science?

    Which can we ask more of, philosophy or science?

    Which has a greater capacity to help us in our daily lives, philosophy or science?

    Which has a greater capacity to help overall society, philosophy or science?

    Which is more limited, philosophy or science?

    May 16, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is philosophy more like a mirror or a lens?

    May 16, 2015

  • Robert P.

    Privacy or public information?

    May 16, 2015

    • A former member
      A former member

      Privacy vs. transparency

      May 16, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    How useful is the concept of a social norm - what can you really do with it and what is inappropriate to do with it?

    May 16, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What are the respective roles of belief and knowledge?

    For the purposes of discussion, I use Plato's definition that knowledge is justified true belief.

    Where would human civilization be if all action could be based only on knowledge and not mere belief?

    Between the two concepts we have a hybrid - justified belief, which requires sound justification, but we don't yet have absolute proof of its truth.

    There is yet another hybrid, which I will call weakly justified belief or rationalized belief or relatively justified belief, which I submit is the most common form of belief and appears to be good enough for most people most of the time, even though experts might agree that we really don't know for sure, and some people are outright skeptical.

    Take the twin American beliefs that democracy is the best form of government and that capitalism is the best form for an economy - what degree of certainty and absolute proof do we really have?

    May 16, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    Which is better tyranny or chaos?

    Who should decide - only the people of that country, or others, outside?

    To wit, Syria and Iraq, and ISIS.

    May 14, 2015

  • A former member
    A former member

    What do we owe to the people of other countries?

    Do we have an obligation to stay out of their affairs?

    Do we have an obligation to defend them from attack?

    Do we have an obligation to free them from tyranny and dictatorship?

    Or rephrase the latter as: Do we have an obligation to help them free themselves from tyranny and dictatorship?

    May 14, 2015

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4 going

  • Yen
    Assistant, Assistant Organizer

    Parent, manager, former educator returning to the local area. seeking Truth,... more

  • Robert P.

    Am interesting in discussing all sorts of philosophy topics.

  • Tim C.

    I am always interested in the exchange of ideas.

1 not going

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  • sylvia t.

    i have been a member of this group for over ten years.

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