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 8 November 2017


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









The Roots of Modern Thought

-- The Ionian PreSocratics



Presented by: Dave Rowsell

Science today is in a quandary. A century ago we discovered relativity and quantum physics. Since then we have come to deeply rely on this physics, to the extent that over a third of world trade involves its products. It’s in the sky; it’s in your pockets; it’s everywhere.

Yet what this ‘New Physics’ reveals about reality and the nature of life seems to completely defy our attempts to make sense of it. We hear of ‘weird’ things like wave/particle duality, Schrödinger’s infamous cat, non-locality and black holes. They all challenge what we have confidently assumed about reality for thousands of years. Clearly what we understand as ‘rational’ has been found wanting.

So how can we unearth the inadequacies of our thinking? What needs to change? In situations like this we need to go back to the roots of our thinking, and our imagination, which are in ancient Greece.

Reviewing the Classical Greek roots of modern thought can yield many deep surprises, and reveal that much of what we take as natural today is in fact no such thing at all. Indeed, most of Greek ‘rational’ thought is directly descended from myths and religious ideas that were already traditional by the time of the PreSocratic philosophers.

This talk is an initial attempt to consider what we know of the very first philosophers - the Ionians - and unearth the tentative and social origins of ways of thinking that most of us still take for granted as natural and logical.  Maybe now is the time to thank the Ancient Greeks for their fundamental contribution, but recognise it as inadequate in the light of the facts of modern physics, and start taking steps to go beyond it.




Winter Extravaganza



7:30 pm Wednesday 13 December 2017


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


A light buffet will be available; it would be great if as many people as possible could come along and take part; perhaps people would like to "bring and share" food as well.





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.]