EXPLORING PHILOSOPHY
10.30 am - Second and Fourth Wednesdays of the month.
Manvers Street, Central Bath.

We are a small and friendly group. We are not experts: we are exploring and learning together. -

Talks and discussions start at about 10.30 am but we get together for coffee or tea soon after 10.00 am. We finish at 12.00 noon. At the moment our group is as big as it can be without jeopardising good discussion.

Our current endeavour is to explore ideas within themes such as the Philosophies of Mind, Knowledge, Politics, Religion, Ethics and Aesthetics and our guide for this is Julian Baggini and Gareth Southwell’s Philosophy Key Themes. We plan also to take advantage of the vast array of resources/lectures available on the internet. Each member of the group contributes in order to share the load.

History of the Group

When we started, in January 2005, the way we operated was that for each session someone volunteered to choose and present a topic, which was then followed by some discussion.

In May 2007 we started to use the book Philosophy - Basic Readings (Second Edition) edited by Nigel Warburton (Routledge, 2005). This is an anthology of writings by many different philosophers. We chose a chapter to read before each meeting, and used this as the basis for our discussion. One of us took responsibility for structuring the discussion, but there was no need for that person to prepare a presentation and there was much more time for everyone to have their say in the meeting.

From June to November 2009, we discussed some topics raised in the "Grayling's Question" column in Prospect Magazine.

For a list of the topics that we discussed from 2006 to 2009, click here

From 2009 to 2015 the group ploughed its way through the canon of western philosophy chronologically from Thales (pre-Socratic) to the second half of the 20th century. This was a fascinating journey through the lives and ideas of some of our greatest thinkers seen through the prism of their historical context. Philosophy - One Hundred Essential Thinkers by Philip Stokes was our guide, augmented by other authors and anthologies.