What we're about

P&G is a Philosophy Group in the Bay Area. We host and organizes various Philosophy related events from causal philosophical discussions(Everyday Philosophy Thursday) to highly focused philosophy paper/reading/Seminar type discussions(Monday). We have also a recurring Asian Philosophy paper discussion on Saturday. The common thread is that we engage with topics, and issues people are interested in, and want to talk about. P&G is about community both online and offline. We are in our own small way trying to empower the individual to better engage within our community and the larger world.

Upcoming events (4+)

What is Being? Aristotle's "Books on Substance" Zeta, Eta, Theta

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This is make up event for cancelled session on May 11th.

Reading for Wednesday: Zeta 13-17 (1038b1 - 1041b 32).


We will discuss a few of Aristotle's reasons for why essences are not universals, and try to get clear about his suggestion that universals are CAPACITIES. Then we will read through Z17 together and try to understand his summary statement of what was achieved in "the Mt. Everest of philosophy" Book 7 of the Metaphysics.

APORIA?: Scholars are divided on whether Metaphysics Zeta ends in a dead-end or not. Has Aristotle shown that substance can ultimately not be ANY of the candidates he listed as possible ways to think substance (matter, essence, form or genus)? Is this why he starts over at Z17? Or does he show that certain SENSES of the above terms are not qualified to be substance, but others are suitable, indeed, the only possible way to understand what SOMETHING IS? Please read through the sections, and if you have the leisure, read over earlier sections, to see if you can find material that is of interest to this question!
BEING SIGHTING: One thing to ponder is something we have been DOING but we have - alas!- not adequately attended to our doing, since our doing has been thinking. We have been thinking what it is to be a changeable, changing thing in terms of matter and form. Matter and form are not sensible parts of a composite changeable thing, but the PRINCIPLES one has to think it through in order NOT to fall into the trap of converting it into an UNCHANGING thing. Yet look again! For OUR principle of matter does not aid in the comprehension of what the thing is, but OUR principle of form, the principle we bring to the object to understand it, turns out to be the nature of the thing we seek to understand. Our "epistemic" principle turns out to the thing's "ontic" principle. Thought and Being of the thing coincide! For the principle of form is nothing other than the form it is the principle of. So OUR principle is not ours after all, it is IDENTICAL with the Being of the thing. Matter is "subjective" in Cartesian parlance, because it tells us not about the thing, but the aspect under which we are to view it if we are to understand it as a changing thing; yet form is "objective" - again, not because our thought of form re-presents the thing, but IS the BEING of the thing. Thinking through form is thinking through what it is to be something, it is not a psychological introspective investigation into ourselves, but into the Being of What IS!
This is, I think, why the concept of "principle" is slippery: they start out "epistemic" but SOME turn out to be "ontic": identical with what they are the principle of.

Russell's "The History of Western Philosophy" | 12th Century & 13th Century

Required Reading: Bertrand Russell "The History of Western Philosophy"
Book Two, Catholic Philosophy
Chapter XI: The 12th Century pp. 428 ~ 441
Chapter XII: The 13th Century pp. 441 ~ 451
Please read the designated chapter and join our discussion.
You can read online version from
or Amazon order
Please join [discord ] for after meetup discussion
Here is our schedule for[masked] - Pythagoras[masked] - Heraclitus and Parmenides[masked] - Empedocles and Anaxagoras[masked] - The Atomists and Protagoras[masked] - Review Plato[masked] - Review Aristotle[masked] - Cynics and Skeptics[masked] - The Epicureans[masked] - Stoicism[masked] - Plotinus[masked] - Jewish Religious Development[masked] - Christianity and Three Doctors[masked] - Saint Augustine[masked] - Saint Benedict and Gregory the Great[masked] - Dark Age, John the Scott[masked] - Mohammedan Culture and Philosophy
[masked] - The 12th and 13th Century[masked] - Thomas Aquinas[masked] - Franciscan Schoolman
The 12th Century
Peter Abelard (  1079 – 1142) was a medieval French scholastic philosopher, leading logician, theologian, poet, composer and musician. In philosophy he is celebrated for his logical solution to the problem of universals via nominalism and conceptualism and his pioneering of intent in ethics. Often referred to as the "Descartes of the twelfth century", he is considered a forerunner of Rousseau, Kant, and Spinoza.He is sometimes credited as a chief forerunner of modern empiricism.
In history and popular culture, he is best known for his passionate and tragic love affair, and intense philosophical exchange, with his brilliant student and eventual wife, Héloïse d'Argenteuil. He was a defender of women and of their education. After having sent Héloïse to a convent in Brittany to protect her from her abusive uncle who did not want her to pursue this forbidden love, he was castrated by men sent by this uncle. Still considering herself as his spouse even though both retired to monasteries after this event, Héloïse publicly defended him when his doctrine was condemned by Pope Innocent II and Abelard was therefore considered, at that time, as a heretic. Among these opinions, Abelard professed the innocence of a woman who commits a sin out of love.
The 13th Century
Francis of Assisi ( 1182 – 1226), was an Italian Catholic friar, deacon, and mystic.He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of St. Clare, the Third Order of St. Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in Christianity.
Pope Gregory IX canonized Francis on 16 July 1228. Along with Catherine of Siena, he was designated patron saint of Italy. He later became associated with patronage of animals and the natural environment, and it became customary for churches to hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of 4 October. In 1219, he went to Egypt in an attempt to convert the sultan al-Kamil and put an end to the conflict of the Fifth Crusade. Once his community was authorized by the Pope, he withdrew increasingly from external affairs.

Daily Philosophy | Setting and Achieving Goals

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Suggestive Reading: Paper Link

What do the goals we set, whether personal or professional, require? If we hope to accomplish our goals, we need the discipline to hold ourselves accountable. We need the self-control to stay focused only on the things within our control. And we need the endurance to persist through difficulty. As it happens, Stoicism is a philosophy based on self-discipline, self-control, and endurance. The Stoic Chrysippus, for instance, trained as a long-distance runner. Every day, as Diogenes Laertes recounts in Lives of Eminent Philosophers, he would set a goal, try to beat it, then when he did, he would set a new, faster goal. Because that’s what runners do, what athletes do, and what Stoics do: they try to get better everyday, they set a goal and they don’t stop until they accomplish that goal. We created this guide to help you do exactly that. It is here to help you set and achieve your goals. It is rooted in the time-tested wisdom of the Stoics. This is a long post. It should be saved and revisited. It can be read straight through or if you prefer, feel free to click the links below to navigate to a specific section:

Daily Philosophy:
The purpose of this event is to create an open and safe forum to discuss problems of everyday living (personal, political, social, cultural, interpersonal, work, family, love, et al) from the point of view of philosophy.

This meet-up requires zero background in philosophy. This meet-up will not have any required reading( It is suggested). This meet-up is not about jargon, name dropping and complicated concepts... it is philosophy in plain language for normal everyday concerns of life.

The Cartoon History of the Universe

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The Cartoon History of the Universe by Larry Gonick

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