Swansea Philosophy Cafe: Dates 2017


 The Vivian Arms, 104 Gower Road, Sketty, Swansea, SA2 9BZ



Usually 2nd Wednesday of each month




12 July / 9 August / 20 September (3rd Wednesday)


11 October / 8 November / 13 December



Email: SwanseaPhilosophy@gmail.com


Website: http://bit.ly/SwanseaPhilosophy


Next Philosophy Café


7:30 pm Wednesday 20 September 2017


The Vivian Arms, 104 Gower Road, Sketty, Swansea, SA2 9BZ









Realism and Anti-Realism:

Some recent issues





Presented by: Chris Norris

Realism basically says that there is an objective, mind-independent world that exists 'out there' along with all its objects, structures, properties, causal powers, dispositions, etc. Anti-realism basically says that those attributes are projected onto it by us through our own cognitive powers and capacities.

For the anti-realist it simply doesn't make sense to talk of truth as (in the current jargon) 'recognition-transcendent' or 'epistemically unconstrained'. For the realist there is simply no alternative to acknowledging that there are, and may forever be, truths (e.g., of mathematics, history,  or physical science) that elude or transcend our utmost cognitive reach.

I'll be discussing some of the forms this debate has taken in recent years and some of the proposed middle-way solutions to it.



[Chris has just retired as a Philosophy Prof at Cardiff University and now spends most of his time writing poetry. He realises that this "realism" stuff can sound rather technical, but it's really interesting and "cutting edge" stuff, and he promises to keep well clear of the thickets! We hope to hear some of his (philosophical) poetry at the Winter Extravaganza (aka, Phil Cafe on Wednesday 13 December)!





Exploring philosophy & building community together in Swansea

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?



Patrick (Chair)



The Royal Institute of Philosophy

We are delighted to be a Lo al Branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.


The Institute was founded to advance the education of the public in the subject of philosophy -- and "public engagement" is at the heart of  branch activities. The original plan, when setting up a system of branches, was to recreate, maybe on a smaller scale but all over the country, the public events the Royal Institute puts on in London. Other kinds of events are possible, but the aim has always been to encourage accessible, public philosophy. In light of all this and the work we do in Swansea, the Royal Institute of Philosophy is very happy to continue funding  Swansea Philosophy during 2017 -- 2018.

Rydym yn archwilio athroniaeth ac yn codi cymuned gyda'n gilydd yn Abertawe

Helo 'na, a Chroeso i'n Gwefan!

Rhai ohonom ni yn y grŵp sy'n siarad Cymraeg, gan gynnwys Patrick, y Cadeirydd, a wnaeth 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. 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, who sat 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. We hope we can share our interest in stimulating ideas more often in the future.]