Wivenhoe Bookshop Magazine & Newsletter | Saturday 23 August 2014

Philosophy Breakfast

Feed your head with Saturday morning debate at our Philosophy Breakfast. Great coffee, fresh croissants and good company, led by tutor Colin Phillips.

NEW COURSE FROM SEPTEMBER 2014!

Topics in Philosophy

A 5 week course

10.00 – 11.30 Saturdays 13th, 20th, 27th Sept & 4th, 11th Oct

Wivenhoe Bookshop

1. Scepticism. We will consider sceptical arguments casting doubt on the existence of an external world and of other minds. Why should we bother with such arguments? I will suggest some answers.

2. The welfare of animals. I shall consider “speciesism” – the view that our prejudices towards other species are analogous to our prejudices towards other races.

3. God and evolution. The argument from design for the existence of God. Evolution. Creationism.

4. Science and pseudoscience. What is the difference?

5. Utilitarianism

Colin’s Recommended Reading

Those attending the course are eligible for a discount on recommended books purchased through the bookshop! 

There are three books which seem to me to stand out as popular introductions to philosophy. I have arranged them in what I estimate to be increased level of difficulty.

 Edward Craig Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction OUP

Very good. Covers a lot of ground for such a short book. Deals with some texts, various themes and various “-isms”. Selective, reflecting the tastes of the author. Very well-written.

 Thomas Nagel What Does it All Mean? OUP

A good and very short introduction. No history of philosophy but deals directly with a representative sample of the main problems in philosophy.

 Simon Blackburn Think OUP

Much longer than the texts mentioned above. Covers most of the main problems of philosophy. Very well written but difficult at times.

A classic still well worth reading is:

 Russell The Problems of Philosophy

The course fees are £50 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or book by email.

PREVIOUS COURSES

The Great Philosophers – A 5 week course

10.00 – 11.30 Saturdays 26th April, 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th May

The idea behind the philosophy breakfasts is that it is a discussion group rather than a lecture. Colin Phillips, our resident philosopher will introduce material throughout the session which people are welcome to comment upon. No knowledge of philosophy is presupposed.

The first series of five talks is on the history of philosophy. The philosophers under discussion are:

1.    Plato

2.    Descartes

3.    Hume

4.    Nietzsche

5.    Wittgenstein

Colin’s Recommended Reading

Those attending the course are eligible for a discount on recommended books purchased through the bookshop!

People who would like to do some reading in conjunction with the course should look at the corresponding chapters in Bryan Magee’s: The Great Philosophers.

The course fees are £50 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or book by email.

PREVIOUS COURSES

Topics in Philosophy – a 5 week course

10.00 – 11.30 Saturdays 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th March

The idea behind the philosophy breakfasts is that it is a discussion group rather than a lecture. Colin will introduce material throughout the session which people are welcome to comment upon. No knowledge of philosophy is presupposed

  • What is philosophy?
  • Truth, reason and rhetoric. The dispute between Plato and the sophists
  • God and evil. The problem of evil is the problem of determining whether, and if so, to what extent the existence of evil constitutes evidence against the existence of God
  • Nihilism. This is the notion that life has no intrinsic value or meaning. We will consider Kierkegaard and Nietzsche
  • Minds, brains and machines

The course fees are £50 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or book by email. 

Colin’s Recommended Reading

Those attending the course are eligible for a discount on recommended books purchased through the bookshop! 

There are three books which seem to me to stand out as popular introductions to philosophy. I have arranged them in what I estimate to be increased level of difficulty.

 Edward Craig Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction OUP

Very good. Covers a lot of ground for such a short book. Deals with some texts, various themes and various “-isms”. Selective, reflecting the tastes of the author. Very well-written.

 Thomas Nagel What Does it All Mean? OUP

A good and very short introduction. No history of philosophy but deals directly with a representative sample of the main problems in philosophy.

 Simon Blackburn Think OUP

Much longer than the texts mentioned above. Covers most of the main problems of philosophy. Very well written but difficult at times.

A classic still well worth reading is:

 Russell The Problems of Philosophy

For the history of philosophy I would recommend:

 Bryan Magee The Great Philosophers OUP

PREVIOUS COURSE DETAILS BELOW

The Great Philosophers – a 5 Week Course

10.00 – 11.30 Saturdays 18th, 25th Jan, 1st, 8th and 15th Feb

Resident philosopher Colin Philips talks about his next Philosophy Breakfast series:

The idea behind the philosophy breakfasts is that it is a discussion group rather than a lecture. I will introduce material throughout the session which people are welcome to comment upon.

This series of five talks is on the history of philosophy.

The philosophers we shall discuss are:

1. Spinoza and Leibniz

2. Kant

3. Hegel and Marx

4. Husserl, Heidegger and modern existentialism

5. Frege and Russell

People who would like to do some reading in conjunction with the course should look at the corresponding chapters Bryan Magee’s: The Great Philosophers.

NB No prior acquaintance with philosophy is presumed.

The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.

To reserve your copy of Bryan Magee’s The Great Philosophers call us on 01206 824050, or order by email.

 Philosophy – the Classics –  a 5 Week Course

10.00 – 11.30 Saturdays 21st, 28th Sept and 5th, (Break on the 12th) and 19th, and 26th October

Tutor Colin Phillips talks about the next course:

The idea behind the philosophy breakfasts is that it is a discussion group rather than a lecture. I will introduce material throughout the session which people are will be encouraged to comment upon.

This series of five talks is on the history of philosophy. I will be giving an exposition of the main ideas in some of the greatest works of philosophy. The books we shall consider are:

Plato The Republic

Aristotle Ethics

Descartes  Meditations

Kant Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals

Wittgenstein  Philosophical Investigations

People who would like to do some reading in conjunction with the course should look at the corresponding chapters in:

 Nigel Warburton Philosophy: The Classics – to reserve your copy call 01206 824050 or order by email.

The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.

Please note – there will be a midcourse break on Sat 12th October .

 PREVIOUS COURSES

‘Topics in Philosophy’ 5 weeks – Saturdays from 4th May 2013 - 1st June, from 10 – 11.30am

The following topics will be under debate:

  1. 1.    “Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?” (Bertrand Russell)

 2.   The doctrine of double effect. This says that if doing something morally good has a morally bad side-effect it’s ethically acceptable to do it providing the bad side-effect wasn’t intended. This principle is appealed to in discussions of war, terrorism, euthanasia and abortion.

3.    What does it mean to say “God exists”? As a step towards answer that question I will consider two traditional arguments for the existence of God – the Ontological and Cosmological arguments.

4.    Nihilism. This is the notion that life has no intrinsic value.

5.    Proper names. What is the connection between the name “Socrates” and the great philosopher?

The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.

 ‘The Great Philosophers - 5 weeks – Saturdays from 3rd Nov – 1st December, from 10 – 11.30am

The second series is on the history of philosophy and will be based on Bryan Magee’s book The Great Philosophers. This is itself based on a series of television discussions in which leading contemporary philosophers talk about past philosophers. We will just consider the following.

Aristotle

Spinoza and Leibniz

Locke and Berkeley

Hegel and Marx

Schopenhauer

Reading Magee’s book is not essential; but to get the most benefit from this course people should read the corresponding chapters in Magee’s book before or after the talk. Although the discussions do not presuppose any prior knowledge of philosophy some of material is quite challenging, so don’t worry if there are things that you don’t immediately understand!

 The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.

 ‘Topics in Philosophy’ 5 weeks – Saturdays from 29th Sept – 27th October, from 10 – 11.30am

  1. “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. Is it?
  2. Poverty. Some ethical issues raised by global poverty.
  3. Kuhn. A very influential philosopher of science whose principle work is on the nature of scientific revolutions.
  4. Religious experience. Can religious experience provide us with grounds for believing in God?
  5. Environmental ethics. What is the moral relationship of human beings to the environment and its nonhuman contents?

No prior acquaintance with philosophy is presumed.

The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.

PREVIOUS COURSES

Feed your head with Saturday morning debate at our Philosophy Breakfast. Great breakfast and good company, led by tutor Colin Phillips.

 ‘Topics in Philosophy’ – Saturday 9th June – 7th July, from 10 – 11.30

  • Human rights. Are there human rights? How can we tell what is a human right?
  • Pragmatism – the idea that truth is what it is useful to believe.
  • Is punishment ever justified?
  • Some puzzles in the philosophy of mathematics. What makes it true that 2+2=4? Is the mathematician a discoverer or a creator? Is mathematics just a game with signs?
  • What is the meaning of a word? The object that the word stands for? Or is it in the mind of the person who uses it? Or is it the use itself?

No prior acquaintance with philosophy is presumed.

The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.


‘Talking Philosophy’  – Saturday 21st April – 19th May, from 10 – 11.30

  • Ethical relativism. Is ethics a matter of choice and opinion? Can ethical statements be true or false?
  • God, design and evolution
  •  Can war ever be justified?
  • Are things really coloured?
  • Could we survive death?

No prior acquaintance with philosophy is presumed.

The course fees are £45 –  to book, ‘phone 01206 824050, or email.

‘Talking Philosophy’  – Saturday 21st January – 18th February, from 10 – 11.30am

‘Topics in Philosophy’ – Saturday 3rd March – 31st March, from 10 – 11.30am

Feed your head in the New Year with Saturday morning debate at our Philosophy Breakfast. Great breakfast and good company, led by tutor Colin Phillips.

No prior acquaintance with philosophy is presumed.

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