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PHILOSOPHY
 
  PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERSATIONS


What is the point of Philosophy?

Why do we study philosophy? What are the attractions of this subject? What are its central questions and how does philosophy help us to address these? It has been remarked that these questions were asked over 2000 years ago by the Greeks but still remain unanswered! Why is it that these questions are perennial? Does philosophy have any practical value?

Date Sat 14th October
Tutor Mike Radford  
Time 9.30am- 12.00pm  
Ref 1960  
Fees £12  
 

 
  PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERATIONS

What, if anything, can we know with absolute certainty?

'Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge; it is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief. Doubt is the touchstone of truth; it is an acid which eats away the false.' Robert Weston. Can we ever be certain?

Date Sat 4th November
Tutor Mike Radford  
Time 9.30am- 12.00pm  
Ref 1801  
Fees £12  
 

 
  PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERATIONS

What is the human mind?

It began with the French philosopher Descartes who saw the mind as independent, separate but linked with the body. In this way he could argue that whereas the body was temporary, the mind continued forever. Contemporary philosophy, following Darwin among others, sees the mind as much more bound up with the body. But the body is not the same as the mind so what exactly is the mind?

Date Sat 18th November
Tutor Mike Radford  
Time 9.30am- 12.00pm  
Ref 1962  
Fees £12  
 

 
  PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERATIONS

What is the nature of human freedom?

Our behaviour can be seen as determined by; our genetic inheritance, our DNA and our experience of nurture in our family, education and all the other factors that impinged on our formative consciousness. So where does our ability of choice come in? Are we completely determined by our inherited nature and given nurture, or is there some space for human freedom?

Date Sat 10th February
Tutor Mike Radford  
Time 9.30am- 12.00pm  
Ref 1963  
Fees £12  
 

 
  PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERATIONS

What is the nature of meaning?

How do words come to have their meanings? Many words are like labels, referring to objects in the world. Sentences similarly refer to states of affairs in the world. This has led some philosophers to argue that meaning lies in the relationship of language to the reality it describes. What about moral language, 'thou shalt not kill' ? And what about the word 'mean' in the proposition, ' I mean to have my dinner at 6.30?'

Date Sat 24th Feb
Tutor Mike Radford  
Time 9.30am- 12.00pm  
Ref 1964  
Fees £12  
 

 
  PHILOSOPHICAL CONVERATIONS

What is the nature of beauty?


Is there any such thing as objective beauty e.g. the beauty of a sunset? Or is beauty purely subjective, as the saying goes 'In the mind of the beholder'? William James reported that when he first saw George Eliot he thought her a 'horse faced bluestocking' but after she had talked to him he was left with an 'abiding sense of her beauty'. So what is beauty and how do we come to recognise it?

Date Sat 10th March
Tutor Mike Radford  
Time 9.30am- 12.00pm  
Ref 1965  
Fees £12