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What we're about

Socrates Cafe is a friendly, low pressure group of critical thinkers/ questioners in the Pioneer Valley.

Each meeting will examine a single philosophical question agreed to by the group, chosen from group members' offerings. The discussion, in a public place, will then last around 90 minutes -- this process itself showing Socrates' practice of gaining wisdom through inquiry.

So why come to the discussion? Why discuss philosophical concepts as a group? Why bother discussing philosophical concepts at all? (I suppose that last question could itself be a question for one of the meet-ups -- so you get the picture).

Here's one answer to "why," from none other than Bertrand Russell: "Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good."

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