Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library
This is not a lecture. It is a dialogue in which anyone who wishes can participate. It is about talking and it is about listening. But most importantly of all it is about thinking, considering and reconsidering not only about the thoughts and arguments of others but those of our own. No previous knowledge of philosophy is required. But what is philosophy? Philosophy is about learning how to think clearly and systematically about certain kinds of questions. Have you have ever wondered “does God exist?”, “I am the same person I was 10 years ago”, “why does anything exist?”, “is it right to eat meat?”, “is this real or am I dreaming?” or even “can inequality be justified?” then you have already been doing philosophy. Philosophy is not just a body of knowledge but an activity. It is the process of improving our knowledge through rational and logical argument. The kinds of problems that are of interest to philosophers include those of metaphysics (questions to do with what there is), ethics (questions to do with right, wrong and value) and epistemology (questions to do with knowledge and what we can know about what there is). We will take the topic of "personal identity", we will apply our brains to it and see what comes out. My goal as facilitator is not to express or promote my own views but to lay the thread that will help us navigate through the maze of our discussion.
Bring one of the following:
A boring postcard
Interesting newspaper cuttings
Nothing that is big and heavy
Some homemade jam
Your thoughts and feedback on the session
About the teacher, Darren Poynton
I am a philosophy MA student currently based in Norwich, UK and work with a charity called The Philosophy Foundation, running philosophy workshops in schools and in the community. I am also a member of Society for Advancing Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education, SAPERE.