A local branch of:
The Royal Institute
2nd Wednesday of each month
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
E-mail us at:
Swansea Philosophy Social
104 Gower Road
Swansea Philosophy Café
104 Gower Road
“At some point in the future could / will science be complete?”
Introduced by Glyn Griffiths
Asking the Questions
In a previous Phil Cafe, we came upon a discussion around the topic "How did Everything Start?" Someone suggested that “We don’t (yet) know” is always a better answer to any particular
question than the answer “God."
That suggestion seemed to be based on a confidence, or on a hope, that science would one day "produce an answer" (or "the answer," or "every answer"). That is to say, that the knowledge produced by science might one day become "complete."
Indeed, towards the end of the 19th Century some people thought that physics was "almost complete," that, soon enough, it would be "able to answer every question." That very clearly turned out not to be the case: we ("human physicists") are still wrangling over all kinds of issues.
But, we can ask: Is it (in principle) possible that physicists might one day achieve all that it is possible for physics to achieve? Could that ever be the case, or are there some questions that science is not capable of answering? Are there any questions that science cannot even begin to try to ask?
If our answer to the question is "no" then what is it about the nature of science and/or reality that makes the scientific enterprise a task that cannot be completed? And where does that leave us all, now, and in the future?
If our answer to the question is "yes" then what would that "total knowledge" look like, what exactly would we have achieved if science had done all that it is capable of?
While there is little prospect of arriving at a definitive answer (in Phil Cafe!) we hope that this will provoke an interesting discussion about the nature, scope and limitations of the scientific enterprise.
[Many thanks to Glyn for his input!]
Hello and Welcome!
Why not come along on the second Wednesday of each month (and some other occasions too) to join with us in open discussion on a whole range of topics.
We are not in any sense "professional philosophers," just group of like-minded people searching for philosophical stimulation. No philosophical knowledge or background is expected or required, just an enquiring mind, and an interest in exploring ideas in a safe and friendly environment where all can contribute, hopefully learn something, and have fun. Respect for others and their opinions is a fundamental requirement of the group as it encourages people to put forward their views without fear of ridicule or intimidation.
The topic for discussion is decided amongst the group-members at the end of the previous session, and everyone is very welcome to bring her or his own ideas, or just to listen and maybe take some new and different viewpoints away at the end.
This group is "facilitated" to let everyone have a say if they want. Our feedback tells us that all participants are enjoying, exploring, making friends and
gaining from the occasions, whether through their contributions, or as observers and listeners.
We are proud to be a "local branch" of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, which helps to fund our activities. In the past we have organised day-long "Philosophy Festivals" on "A Taste of the Continent," and "Philosophy in Swansea – Dylan [Thomas] and Ludwig [Wittgenstein]" as well as regular "pub philosophy" sessions, "reading groups," and "philosophy in film" screenings. Some of these events have been held with the kind help and support of Swansea University.
We spend the last year studying a detailed overview of "ancient philosophy," using video snippets to explore, illustrate, and enhance our understanding of the fascinating ideas arising from the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.
More recent topics have included: "What does it mean to be happy?" / "Does evil exist?" / "Does tolerance have any limits?" / "Is it healthy to be well-adjusted in an absurd world?" / "Is it ever ethical for a state to deny immigration to an individual?" / "The 21st Century is the least civilized period in human history so far" / "Dorian Grey's unfettered indulgence led to his dissolution and ultimate demise: this should be a warning for all of us."
The Vivian Arms is a great venue, with a really nice comfortable seating area which we are hiring for free. The bar serves a great selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and meals.
All are welcome: why not bring some friends?
Helo 'na, a Chroeso i'n Gwefan!
Rhai ohonom ni yn y grŵp sy'n siarad Cymraeg, gan gynnwys Patrick, y Cadeirydd (bydd e'n sefyll yr arholiad i Safon Uwch yn 2017). Rydym yn cofio taw traddodiad athronyddol cryf sydd wastad wedi bodoli yn Abertawe, y dymunwn ei ddathlu. Mae Patrick eisoes wedi paratoi darlith drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ar y pwnc "Athroniaeth yn yr Hen Aifft." Rydym yn gobeithio ein bod ni'n gallu rhannu'n diddordeb mewn syniadau symbylol yn amlach yn y dyfodol.
Croeso cynnes i bawb: efallai'ch bod chi'n gallu dod â rhai ffrindiau?
[There are some of us in the group who speak Welsh, including Patrick, the Chair (he'll be sitting the A-Level exam in 2017). We remember that a strong philosophical tradition has always existed in Swansea, which is something we wish to celebrate. Patrick has already prepared a lecture through the medium of Welsh, on the topic "Philosophy in Ancient Egypt." We hope we can share our interest in stimulating ideas more often in the future.]