What we're about

SPARK is about sparking new ideas and, hopefully, sparking new friendships as well. We'll explore philosophy in a down-to-earth way. The Organizers will lead some of the discussion but there will be no lectures — it's all about group participation. Members are encouraged to present on topics that interest them.
We are an Equal Opportunity group and do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or disability.

It is the vision of the Organizers of Spark that our group will be primarily an IRL (In Real Life) group. We want to create a community of like-minded folks who are honestly interested in face-to-face interactions. To that end, we encourage our members to attend at least one event every six months. When we are planing events we need to know that the number of RSVPs is accurate so if you RSVP, please show up. We have a Facebook group but we only allow members to join it if they have attended at least one event. Also, if you use an alias, or if you cannot provide a recognizable head shot as your profile pic, you will not be allowed to join. We want to deal with honest individuals who do not seek to conceal their identities.
We are open to people of all philosophical, religious, and political points of view. If you're a life-long learner, this group is for you! See you soon!

If you'd like to donate to our group, click here: https://secure.meetup.com/Spark-A-Philosophical-Discussion-Group/contribute/

Upcoming events (1)

Online Discussion: Social Constructionism

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Hey all! For this online session, we'll explore the concept of “social construction.” Chances are you’ve heard somebody utter the dreaded phrase, “social construct” at some point, often enough with a dismissive or deflationary tone. What are social constructs? What could it mean to say that something or other is “socially constructed?” If something is socially constructed, is it in some sense less “real” (whatever that might mean)? This notion is important because it functions almost as a threshold to lots of contemporary discussions about class, race, identity, gender and a slew of other ideologically-tinged issues.

To get a start thinking about this topic, let’s focus on the first couple of chapters of Ian Hacking’s book, The Social Construction of What? It just so happens that there’s a really great podcast discussion of this material by the folks at The Partially Examined Life (PEL). The first part of the episode is here (https://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2019/10/07/ep227-1-social-construction/), along with links to the Hacking essay and another essay by Ron Mallon at the (pretty uniformly good) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. There’s a second-part to the episode, and the PEL team went on to do social constructivist readings in race and gender, so if the topic interests you (and it should!) you’ll have plenty to grapple with.

Because time and attention are (inevitably!) limited, I won’t assume that everyone will be able to do the reading, but remember that like anything else in life, you’ll get more out of the discussion with a little preparation. I look forward to an interesting and provocative discussion with everyone! Cheers!

We're going to use the Butter platform for this online meetup. Good news! Butter now works on your phone or tablet.

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