What we're about

The Socratic Forum for Thought is an open community that provides an atmosphere for the discussion of ideas.

The format is very simple: there is a short reading followed by a short lecture, followed by a time of open conversation.

The Socratic Forum is not a church. Neither is the meeting political, all politics will be confined to broad themes, lecturers will not deal with specifics or up-to-date situations. Lecturers might discuss Plato's Republic or Hobbes' Leviathan, but will not discuss the latest talking points in politics.

Our group is, for the most part, skeptical (we are a Humanistic community). We embrace the Socratic method of asking questions. We do not worship any deity, nor do we follow any sages but recognize a broad reading of ideas. Our goal is to examine ideas through civil exchange. THE PURPOSE OF THIS FORUM IS TO CONNECT PEOPLE!

We believe in respecting people's freedom; our goal is not to control people, but to inspire people to think. There are no Master, no Gurus and no Infallible Teachers.

Speakers are chosen on the basis of their respective abilities and desires. You do not have to have a degree to speak at our Forum. Many of the world's greatest thinkers have been autodidacts (self educated people). If you have something to share with community then this Forum offers you the platform to do it.

As for attending the only thing required is that you love ideas; is that you show up and enjoy your time mingling. We do not single people out or put people on the spot; no one has all the answers. We are a growing, diverse community, made up of divergent men and women.

----------WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND?----------

1) You can find a sense of friendship or camaraderie. Finding people with similar views and interests (or meeting those with alternative views and interests) can be a deeply rewarding and liberating experience. It can give one a strong sense of community in what otherwise seems like a lonely world.

2) In a society that seems to discourage education, and in its place offer shallow amusements, meeting with other people, who have a passion for ideas, can help to enhance and promote your own education. There's no telling what resources or ideas another person can bring into your life; there's no telling just how much difference one person can make in your life or you can make in the life of another person.

3) Because this Forum offers you a place to express and share your ideas in a productive way; and so far as we know, there's nothing quite like it!

Some of the ideas we might discuss:

Anarchy, Animal, Anonymity, Aristocracy, Art, Atheism, Astronomy, Beauty, Being, Cause, Chance, Change, Citizen, Constitution, Courage, Custom and Convention, Definition, Democracy, Desire, Dialectic, Duty, Education, Element, Emotion, Eternity, Evolution, Experience, Family, Fate, Form, God, Good and Evil, Government, Habit, Happiness, History, Honor, Hypothesis, Idea, Immortality, Induction, Infinity, Judgment, Justice, Knowledge, Labor, Language, Law, Liberty, Life and Death, Logic, and Love.

Man, Mathematics, Matter, Mechanics, Medicine, Memory and Imagination, Metaphysics, Mind, Monarchy, Nature, Necessity and Contingency, Oligarchy, One and Many, Opinion, Opposition, Philosophy, Physics, Pleasure and Pain, Poetry, Principle, Progress, Prophecy, Prudence, Punishment, Quality, Quantity, Reasoning, Relation, Religion, Revolution, Rhetoric, Same and Other, Science, Sense, Sign and Symbol, Sin, Slavery, Soul, Space, State, Temperance, Theology, Time, Truth, Tyranny and Despotism, Universal and Particular, Virtue and Vice, War and Peace, Wealth, Will, Wisdom, and World.

Some of the thinkers we might discuss:

Plato/Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Derrida, J. Krishnamurti, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Foucault, Heidegger, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, Gadamer, Augustine, Aquinas, Russell, Hume, Empiricus, J. S. Mill, Zizek, Ortega, Marx, Rorty, Freud, William James, Sun-Tzu, Popper, Dewey, Lacan, Deleuze, and many others...

Past events (55)


Green Lake Library


University Branch Library


University Branch Library

The Philosophy of Homelessness-

University Branch Library

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