Sat, 17th Jan 2015

Christopher Hamilton – Philosophy: its Nature and Purpose


Philosophy is an abstract intellectual discourse, but also seems to many to hold out possibilities to help us live better lives. Can it do so? If so, how? We shall explore this issue looking at some ancient and contemporary answers.

Tue, 17th Feb 2015
What is Humour and does Philosophy have anything to say about it ?

What is Humour and does Philosophy have anything to say about it – An open-ended discussion

Several speakers will offer their views on the above theme

Sat, 28th Mar 2015
Jane O’Grady – Sartre and the Anguish of Freedom
Sartre proclaimed how free we are – able to choose what to do, be and feel. But this freedom is not a liberation but a life-sentence – with hard labour. If we are to follow Sartre’s exacting strictures on avoiding bad faith, then we will always be scrupulously monitoring ourselves for authenticity, and it will be virtually impossible to be sincere – about our emotions, our sexuality, our love. I’ll look at Sartre’s views on the way we manipulate our emotions, on the arduous agony of love relationships, and how the gay man falls into inauthenticity however he describes himself.

Tue, 14th Apr 2015
Gareth Harper & Jim McCluskey – will give Two Related Presentations
There will be two related presentations, Gareth Harper – Karl Marx’s Critique of Religion as the Opium of the People, and Jim McCluskey – What is Democracy and do we have it.

 Tue, 19th May 2015
Bob Clarke – Radical Agnosticism
The talk will present ‘Radical Agnosticism’, a position which may be distinguished from both Atheism and Belief (religious or mystical) in its attitude towards transcendent worlds and entities, such as Heaven, The World of Forms, God, Spirits, Angels, Souls, Spirits, etc. In the absence of evidence of their existence, Radical Agnosticism withholds commitment to all such transcendent entities, but, unlike some contemporary forms of Atheism, respects many aspects of religion.

Sat,, 6th Jun 2015
John Clarke –Transhumanism: A Philosophy of the Future?
This is a new field of inquiry, though with historical roots in the secular humanism of the Enlightenment. It claims that with rapid advances across the sciences we will soon be able to transform human nature and even conquer death. How did this idea arise? What are the arguments for it? What are its philosophical implications? 

 Sat, 12th Sept 2015
Phil Walden – G.W.F. Hegel – his relevance today.

The presentation covered:

(1) a little biography of Hegel;

(2) Hegel’s realism;

(3) his opposition to relativism (now postmodernism); and

(4) his response to scepticism (both Humean and Ancient Greek); with the emphasis on what all this means for us today.

Tue, 6th Oct 2015
Pete Bulmer – Misunderstanding Boethius

Active in Rome in the late 5th and early 6th centuries (AD), the author of The Consolation of Philosophy was considered a key thinker by Western European intellectuals for over a thousand years, before falling out of favour. He is now making a comeback, but have we really understood what he was about?

Tue, 10th Nov 2015
Jim McCluskey – Nuclear Power

Nuclear power stations are the most dangerous artifacts that man has ever constructed. The Fukushima disaster is still raging out of control nearly five years after it started. The talk will describe the dangers from nuclear power and outline the benign alternatives.

Tue, 8th Dec 2015
Is Morality Universal?

A discussion introduced by members of the WLP Group for all to join in.