What we're about

We're a community that practices and discusses philosophy, being free and open to all levels and backgrounds. We offer seminars, a variety of discussion formats, and the occasional lecture / guest speaker. 

Many meetings will have fewer RSVPs than people who actually attend. This is because overtime people stop making use of Meetup.com and instead communicate with their groups via Discord, Slack, Zoom, E-mail, or similar You can think of the list of events hosted on this Meetup as advertisements for groups seeking new participants.

Our philosophy offerings are organized and facilitated by volunteers. If you have a philosophy offering - or an offering that compliments the study of philosophy, such as in literature, the sciences, and so on - that you'd like to advertise through this Meetup, please contact the organizer. We're grateful to those who want to enrich Portland with study and discussion!

Participants must speak, write, and act in a considerate, professional, and respectful manner, and be prepared for the meetings that they attend, having reviewed the materials to the degree necessary to participate. If you haven't reviewed the materials but still wish to attend an event, please consult the event facilitator regarding the best manner for you to be present.

We look forward to studying philosophy together!

Upcoming events (4+)

Speculative, Philosophical, and Experimental Writing Critique Group

Needs a location

This critique group is kept private to preserve the privacy of critique submissions. Most don't RSVP on Meetup.

To join, please message Laurie Parker. Include in your message: (1) A description of your current writing project(s), (2) Your goals for joining this writer's critique group, (3) A brief history of yourself as a writer, including past projects, education, and related. Your message doesn't have to be anything in-depth. It is moreso a way of making sure that you're serious about observing and that your intentions/projects are a good fit for this critique group.


As the title suggests, we critique writing that is speculative (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, surrealism, slipstream, etc.), philosophical (idea-driven, writing with a message, etc.), and experimental (unusual language, visual/musical aspects, transgressive, etc.). Prose poetry and plays will not be turned away. All writing submitted for critique should fit at least one of these categories.

Example Works

Of course, the authors that inspire us may vary, and widely. Nonetheless, here's a list of some authors that have inspired me, and which we might use as an (incomplete) list of the kind of writing that should be submitted to this critique group.

Virginia Woolf; David Gemmel; Upton Sinclair; John Steinbeck; Frank Herbert; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Salley Roony; Margeret Atwood; Isaac Asimov; Albert Camus; Henry James; Arthur Rimbaud; C.S. Lewis; Arundhati Roy; H.G. Wells; Chinua Achebe; Abdulrazak Gurnah; Harold Pinter; Alice Munro; Homer; Maggie Nelson; Shakespeare; Emily Brontë; Robert Jordan; Zadie Smith; George Elliot.

Critique Group Structure

  • Meets weekly Thursdays from 6:00pm-7:30pm, PT.
  • Both short and long fiction + non-fiction can be submitted.
  • Submissions should be polished and appropriately formatted.
  • Submission length maximum: 15,000 words (many submissions are shorter).
  • Back-to-back weekly submissions for novelists + long-form writers are encouraged.
  • Participants are expected to closely read the submission and arrive prepared to discuss it in depth for 1.5 hours.
  • If, for whatever reason, a participant can't read the submission in time for our meeting and/or can't attend our meeting, that participant is urged to provide a 1 page written summary of feedback to the submitting writer.


We're a serious yet fun group of writers with eclectic projects and tastes. We're always looking to meet new friends and grow our community so we hope you'll consider observing a critique group - and if we're a good fit for one another, continuing to hang out with us Thursday evenings!

We meet on the Blinding Cyclops Discord server. Join link: https://discord.gg/4uCVFs4vHw You can read our full syllabus under the category "Writer's Critique Groups." The rest of the channels under this category are kept hidden to preserve the privacy of critique group submissions, but will be opened up to you when your observation has been confirmed.


This critique group's structure requires a weekly attendance commitment, so it's only right for writers who are committed to writing and critiquing.


Online event

**This event will be held online via zoom. Please RSVP to see the zoom link. ***
For this week, let's consider this target paper, critique and response: #15 in the Open Mind series: https://open-mind.net/papers

"I use evidence from psychiatric disorders involving the experience of depersonalisation to decompose the causal and cognitive structure of experiences reported as self-awareness. I combine insights from predictive coding theory and the appraisal theory of emotion to explain the association between hypoactivity in the Anterior Insular Cortex and depersonalization. This resolves a puzzle for some theories raised by the fact that reduced affective response in depersonalization is associated with normal interoception and activity in Posterior Insular Cortex. It also elegantly accounts for the role of anxiety in depersonalisation via the role of attention in predictive coding theories."

Live Read: "The Art of Perceiving Movement" from David Bohm's 'On Creativity'

Online event

We'll join together for a few weeks to read "The Art of Perceiving Movement" - which is Chapter 4 of David Bohm's book 'On Creativity.'

This is a live read with text (available here: https://tinyurl.com/4c2h9mxx) displayed on screen. I'll be taking a different approach this time with a slower reading and no set agenda. Bohm's writing is very accessible and no particular background is needed to participate. Anyone should fee free to join for one or many sessions and we may or may not finish.

David Bohm (1917–1992) was an American-Brazilian-British scientist who has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century, contributing ideas to quantum theory, neuropsychology and the philosophy of mind.

Among his many contributions to physics is his causal and deterministic interpretation of quantum theory, now known as De Broglie–Bohm theory. Bohm advanced the view that quantum physics meant that the old Cartesian model of reality—that there are two kinds of substance, the mental and the physical—was too limited. To complement it, he developed a mathematical and physical theory of "implicate" and "explicate" order. He also believed that the brain, at the cellular level, works according to the mathematics of some quantum effects, and postulated that thought is distributed and non-localised just as quantum entities are.

Bohm's main concern was with understanding the nature of reality in general and of consciousness in particular as a coherent whole that is never static or complete.


Philosopher's Happy Hour

Rendez Vous Off Belmont

Portland philosophers,

You are cordially invited to an evening of merriment at the exquisite Rendez Vous Off Belmont, perhaps the most philosophically inclined establishment in all of the greater Portland area. Expect passion, even dalliance, with ideas of many varieties, both mundane and exotic, trysts to be greatly energized by our host's many alcoholic ambrosias. Fear not, you teetotalers reading these words. For your tastes - which also happen to be my own - there is a fine selection of mocktails so enticing to the senses that you'll forget the drink coursing through your veins is without the spirits enjoyed by our less discerning fellows. Of course, all may freely indulge in the myriad delicacies of a gustatory nature on the menu, an offering so diverse that it promises to please all palates that possibly might be present ... say that out loud 5 times fast, I dare you!

So as with the last occasion when chance and fate called us together during such tumultuous times, it's hereby expected of all guests to arrive equipped with the appropriate props: books, I mean, two to be precise, which you may flip open at your leisure to impress those who happen to stray within your vicinity, and thereupon lecture, explain, cite, cajole, or even tear the pages in half for all the concern I have regarding the matter. But of course this leaves you pondering: if such chaos might possibly result from this request, then heavens upon our solitary earth, why weigh down the evening with such a cumbersome thing as a book, and two at that? Additionally, I expect you may ask: aren't such papery and bound things more suited to the melancholia of winter, not the lively festivities promised by our evening together?

Of course the reason is because philosophers are an erudite bunch, and this you must certainly see; and besides, many are of an introverted persuasion. To draw them from their shell is no easy task. Nonetheless, it is the habit of those such as myself who regularly observe philosophers - which happens no less than on a weekly basis, and occasionally on a daily basis, I somewhat reluctantly admit - to notice how the presence of a book has such wondrous transformative potential upon those attentive, a magic that I do wholeheartedly believe would be remiss to leave absent from our get-together.

And with that sentiment, Portland philosophers, I leave you until the 24th of March.

Your most ineluctable of hosts,
Richard Pope,
Organizer of Portland's Philosopher Meetup
Patron of all philosophers in the role of executive director of The People's Colloquium
Studier of Aristotle, Nagarjuna, Bergson, and infinity
Writer of silly, overwrought, and faux-Victorian missives such as the one you just finished reading

Past events (2,685)

Conversation: Faust Part One, Goethe

This event has passed