What we're about

The London Philosophy Club holds free talks from some of the leading contemporary philosophers, including (recently) Robert Skidelsky, John Gray, Galen Strawson, Angie Hobbs and Stephen Cave. We also organise debates, socials, and a regular reading group. Our events are fun, accessible and interactive, and are all guided by our belief that philosophy improves people's lives and should be open to all.

At the moment, we're the biggest philosophy club in the world, and have featured on the BBC World Service, in the Financial Times and Independent, La Confidencial and La Reppublica, and at the How-The-Light-Gets-In festival.

No background in Philosophy is necessary. You will get to know other philosophy lovers, curious souls, open-minded individuals who love wisdom and the exploration of ideas - in a non-academic, relaxed atmosphere, full of debate and challenging topics.

Please use at least your first name and a profile picture to join the club (We take care to block spammers.) Looking forward to having you join us!

Upcoming events (3)

A day on consciousness: Rupert Sheldrake, Anil Seth, Iain McGilchrist

Birkbeck, University of London

Neuroscience, Hallucinations and Panpsychism; A full day of talks exploring the fascinating science of consciousness. ____________________________________________________________________________________________ **Please note: this is a ticketed event. RSVP on meetup will not get access on the day.** For tickets, please click here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-consciousness-tickets-90014121661?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Right now, tens of billions of neurons are working together in your brain so that you can read these words. How does this happen? For the longest time, consciousness was life’s greatest mystery; something we thought we’d never understand. Now, recent advances in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry are beginning to shed some light on the inner workings of this mystery, and the findings are nothing less than astounding. In this series of talks, we’ll explore the fascinating science of consciousness; how it works, why it matters, and how understanding it, can improve your everyday experience of reality. You’ll learn: - Neuroscience, perception and hallucination; the latest cutting edge research in the neuroscience of consciousness, how consciousness emerges from the brain, and how changes to our brain can result in bizarre experiences of consciousness - Professor Anil Seth PhD - Matter and consciousness; the relationship between matter and consciousness - are they two things, or one? How necessary are brains to consciousness? And why do we have consciousness at all? - Dr Iain McGilchrist, PhD (via exclusive live video link) - Panpsychism and consciousness; the growing evidence for a ‘conscious universe’, how the world ‘out there’, including our planet, sun and solar system, may be associated with some form of mind and self organising system - Dr Rupert Sheldrake, PhD You’ll learn how these insights can deepen your own understanding of the world we live in, and enhance your everyday perception of reality. For information on the lectures, speakers, and tickets, please see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-consciousness-tickets-90014121661?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub ____________________________________________________________________________________________ **Please note: this is a ticketed event. RSVP on meetup will not get access on the day.** Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-day-on-consciousness-tickets-90014121661?aff=LondonPhilosophyClub

Philosophies for Life course

Psychosynthesis Trust

Who are you? How can you know yourself, change yourself, heal yourself and grow to your full potential? This two-day course teaches you eight ways to understand the self, eight approaches to self-change, and how they can be integrated together. Feedback from the November course: ‘Awesome. Intense. Interesting. Insightful.’ ‘Absolutely amazing. I've been on a real high since the course.’ ‘I felt I gained a number of insights that are immediately useful to my life and future.’ Most courses only teach one approach to the self, one therapeutic or philosophical modality (mindfulness, CBT etc). But such an approach is inevitably one-sided and partial. In the words of Aldous Huxley, the original sin is over-simplification. This course, by contrast, explores the different levels at which our experience can be understood – and changed – and how these multiple levels can be integrated into a comprehensive philosophy of life. It will explore philosophy in the ancient Greek or Indian sense of a practical training to change the psyche and find flourishing. There are only 12 places on the course - six women and six men - so that we have an even number and gender balance. The course balances interesting content with lots of exercises done in pairs or as a group. It's a fascinating journey. The entire course costs £200 but you can get it for £180 if you book before Feb 9. To book your place, email me at [masked] The course takes place at the Psychosynthesis Trust near London Bridge station. Here’s the structure. Each session explores a way of understanding the self, and how we can transcend it. Saturday February 29 - 10.30am - 4.30pm Morning session: 1) You are not just your thoughts (Stoicism / CBT) 2) You are not just your emotions (Buddhist equanimity / Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) Afternoon session: 3) You are not just your conscious rationality (The automatic mind, Jung and the shadow) 4) You are not just your body (William James and the embodied mind, somatic therapy and body-mindfulness) Sunday March 1, 10.30am-4.30pm Morning session: 5) You are not just your relationships (Bowlby and attachment theory, inherited trauma and family dynamics, authentic relating) 6) You are not just your job (Status anxiety and burn out, how to work with non-attachment, the Japanese philosophy of Ikigai) Afternoon session: 7) You are not just your class, ethnicity, sexuality or gender (The social determinants of well-being and the impact of discrimination) 8) You are not just your species (Eco-psychology in the Anthropocene) The course is taking place at the Psychosynthesis Trust in London Bridge, 92-94 Tooley St, London SE1 2TH If you’re interested in booking a place, please email me at [masked] About the course teacher: Jules Evans is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations (2012), which was published in 20 countries and was a Times book of the year. Adrian Edmondson said ‘this book saved my life’. Jules is also the author of The Art of Losing Control (2017) and Holiday From the Self (2019). He is a research fellow at the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He was a BBC New Generation Thinker and a presenter on Radio 4’s History of Ideas series. You can watch Jules’ TEDX talk, ‘how philosophy can save your life’, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuwYvFlNGns His website is www.philosophyforlife.org

The Medicalization of Love: A Talk by Brian D. Earp (Yale)

Is there a pill for love? What about an ‘anti-love drug’, to help us get over an ex? In this talk, Yale bioethicist and co-author of 'Love is the Drug: The Chemical Future of Our Relationships'' will argue that certain psychoactive substances, including MDMA - the active ingredient in Ecstasy - may help couples work through relationship difficulties and strengthen their bond. Others might help sever an emotional connection during a breakup. Such substances already exist and have transformative implications for how we think about love. Earp will build a case for conducting research into ‘love drugs’ and ‘anti-love drugs’ and explores their ethical implications for individuals and society. The idea of drugs that intervene in our love lives might sound like one of the truly bad ones - a sinister-sounding ploy to subject yet more of our lives to the medical gaze. Once the door is pushed open, will drug companies dream up new love-related mental disorders that only they have the products to cure? Will the complexities of love be boiled down to localised neuronal firings, targetable with the right medication? Whether this makes you feel horror – or a glimmer of hope in the despair of a love gone wrong – come along and find out if your fears for the future of our relationships are warranted! Earp will arm us with the latest scientific knowledge and a suggest a set of ethical tools that might help us to decide if these sorts of medications should be a part of our society. Or whether a chemical romance will be right for us. Brian D. Earp is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and the Hastings Center and a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. His recent book Love is the Drug (published by Manchester University Press) has been praised by Peter Singer as 'a fascinating account of a future that is starting to unfold right now'. This meeting will be chaired by Anthony Morgan, editor of 'The Philosopher' (http://www.philsoceng.uk/the-philosopher/). TICKETS MUST BE BOUGHT IN ADVANCE VIA EVENTBRITE Tickets cost £5. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-medicalization-of-love-a-talk-by-brian-d-earp-yale-tickets-91000128835

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