Revised Summer Term Programme from 22/05/24


Revised Summer Programme from 22/05/25
Date Chapter / Topic Introduced By Host
22 May Descartes Steve Andy
29 May Rousseau Martine Andy
5 June No meeting n.a. n.a.
12 June Kant Simon Barbara
19 June Nietzche & Epilogue Anita Andy
26 June Questions & Questioning Henri Ruff Barbara

10 July

(Vacation Meeting)

Emmerson Pam


The Philosophy Workshop in December 2016:-

Philosophy Group 2016 (2)


What We Have Studied

When Author Topic Led By Comments
2006 - 2007 Hayakawa Language in Thought and Action Peter Jones This stimulating text on semantics was used by Peter to introduce his own slant on Philosophy.
2008 Jayne Waterworth A Philosophical Analysis of Hope Jayne Colvin Led by the author!
2008-9 Ray Billington Living Philosophy Peter Stevenson. Lively text with ethical  slant
2008-9 Nigel Warburton Philosophy: the Classics Peter Stevenson. Useful overview of the classic texts
2009-10 Gordon Graham Eight Theories of Ethics Group Effort Excellent treatment of Ethics
2010 Mary Warnock Women Philosophers Group Effort Earlier extracts were tough but we got a lot out of the book
2011 John Hosper Introduction to Philosophical Analysis Group Effort Was our least favourite text until Hartman (below).
2011/12 Michael J Sandel Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? Group Effort

We watched the Harvard lectures from the internet & read the book - highly recommended.

2011/12 Plato Republic Jayne Colvin By a beginners group
2011/12 John Stuart Mill On Liberty Jayne Colvin By a beginners group
2011/12 Jayne Wateridge A Philosophical Analysis of Hope. Jayne Colvin By a beginners group
2012 Johnathan Wolff Ethics and Public Policy Group Effort Good linkeage of philosophy to current politics and ethics


Bryan Magee Talking Philosophy Group Effort We watched some programmes of the BBC series Men of Ideas on which the book is based
2013 Ronald Dworkin Sovereign Virtue Group Effort We gave up on this - good stuff but too densely written for a group like us
2013/14 Scott M James An Introduction to Evolutionary Ethics Group Effort Good beginners guide to the philosopical implications of evolutionary psycholgy
2014 Aristotle Nichomachean Ethics Group Effort Surprisingly readable - we recommend Penguin 2nd ed.
2014/5 Contemporary Philosophers Overview of Individual Authors Group Effort Stimulating Variety
2015 Edward Feser Philosophy of Mind Group Effort Tough going - but we enjoyed it!
2015/6 Nicholas Fearn Zeno and the Tortoise Group Effort Lively selection of topics illustrating different philosophical methods
2016 Peter Singer (ed.) Applied Ethics Group Effort Stimulating collection of classic articles on Ethics - recommended
2016/17 Victoria Harrison Eastern Philosophy: the Basics Group Efffort We enjoyed this excellent introduction to Eastern Philosophy
2017 Vicent Geoghan & Rick Wiford (eds.) Political Ideologies Group Effort Good Introduction to the topic.
2016/7 Naomi Scheman Engenderings Jayne Colvin We enjoyed discussing feminist philosophy over lunch, but in places knowledge was assumed in the text we did not have.
2017 Kwame Anthony Apiah Mistaken Identities Group Effort We listened to, and discussed the 2016 Reith Lectures
2017 A H Basson David Hume Group effort We found Hume stimulating but preferred the Stanford Encyclopaedia articles on Hume to Basson's book.
2017/19 Stephen Cahn & Christine Vitrano (eds.) Happiness: Classic & Contemporary Readings in Philosophy Jayne Colvin Generating some lively discussions. Recommended.
2017/8 Julian Baggini

Ethics: the Big Questions Paperback Title: Without God Is Everything Permitted?

Group Effort We didn't always agree with Julian but found his essays stimulated some great discussions.
2018 Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince Group Effort Still very relevant in the C21st.
2018/9 Ralph A Hartman Philosophies of Language and Linguistics Group Effort Interesting topic and discussions but we do not recommend the book.
2019 David Benatar The Human Predicament Group Effort A pessimistic look at life which generated very lively discussions.
Summer 2019 Jonathan Sumption 2019 Reith Lectures Group Effort Discussion of the 2019 Reith Lectures on Law, Politics and Constitutions
2019 Thomas Hurka The Best Things in Life Group Effort A more optimistic look at some of the basic things in life which contrasted well with Benatar's approach
2019 Nigel Warburton Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction Group Effort Thoughtful introduction to a key contemporary issue.
2020 Seneca (ed. Campbell) Letters From A Stoic Group Effort Very readable, insight into Roman life & relevant to today
2020 Massimo Pugliucci et al. How To Live A Good Life: A Guide To Choosing Your Personal Philosophy  Group Effort Practitioners of 13 personal philosophies / religions on what and why they believe. Generated good discussions. A rather American and conservative selection. Little on how to choose, despite sub-title!
2020 Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet) Candide or Optimism Group Effort A brief literary excursion
2020 Hubert Drefus & Sean Dorrance Kelly All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age Group Effort A longer literary excursion from Homer to Moby Dick focussing on the alleged Nihilism of modern times
2021 Michael Sandel The Tyranny of Meritocracy Group Effort As ever Sandel's writing is clear and raises some basic questions about modern societies.
2021 Thomas Nagel Mortal Questions Group Effort A classic, exploring fundamental issues of death, values & life. Generating good discussions but obscure in places.
2021 Todd May A Decent Life Group Effort A well written, thoughtful and original approach to Ethics which generated much discussion and was liked by the group.
2022 Hannah Arendt The Human Condition Group Effort Most of us found the book confusing and we abandonned our discussions halfway through!
2022 Michael Hauskeller The Meaning of Life and Death Group Effort Interesting selection of writers on a meaty topic. Some group members would have liked a conclusion!
2022 Julian Baggini A Short History of Truth: Consolations for a Post-Truth World Group Effort As ever we found Baggini readable, relevant and stimulating.
2022 Noel Carroll Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction Group Effort Some of us found the book too academic an approach but the topic generated very lively discusssions.
2023 Various Articles in Philosophy Now Group Effort Lively discussions mainly on contemporary issues
2023 Ptahhatp Teachings Steve Possibly the first ever Philosopher!*
2023 John Stuart Mill Essay on Liberty Group effort An essential classic text
2024 Michel Tanner Nietzsche: A Very short Introduction Group Effort Mixed reactions to both Tanner & Nietzsche (some enthusiastic) but, as ever, lively discussions
* In Bill Manley The Oldest Book in the World      
If only we could remember all this, how well-informed - possibly even wise - we would be!      
In addition, in most summers in recent years, we have discussed a selection of philosophical podcasts from the Philosophy Bites web site - which we recommend.      

Philosophy Group News


We are now meeting once more mainly in person in each other's homes or gardens (but with some participation over Zoom).

Please let the me (Steve) know if you are not coming to a session &/or if you wish to participate via Zoom, so appropriate preparations can be made.

You should be fully vaccinated,  and of course, not attend if you feel in any way unwell.




Philosophy Links

Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
My first port of call for introductory articles on philosophers and philosophical topics
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
High quality articles on philosophers and philosophical subjects.
U3A Philosophy Subject Guide
Excellent source of references on Philosophy and ideas for u3a Philosophy groups
Philosophy Now Magazine
We are currently discussing articles from this magazine.
Philosophy Bites
Short interviews with contemporary philosophers.
History of Philosophy
Peter Adamson's 'History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps' - 20 minute talks. Added to regularly and has now (December 2020) a very wide coverage including Philosophy in Classical India, Greece & Rome, Later Antiquity and Medieval & Renaissance Europe as well as Islamic, Jewish, Precolonial African & Afro-American Philosophy.
400+ Free Philosophy Resources on the Web
The most useful guide to web resources for beginning Philosophy students I have found.
Philosophy Podcasts
Excellent Listing - also includes ideas more generally
Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg makes available for free on-line almost all philosophical texts which are out of copyright- and many many other books on all topics.
Existential Comics
Excellent philosophical cartoons on the theme of living a brief life in an absurd world
Ask Philosophers
91 Professional Philosophers answer a host of questions
Squashed Philosophers
Abbreviated versions of many classic texts - usually readable in c. 1 hour!
Justice Lectures
Michael Sandel's excellent free course on Justice with Readings and Discussion Guides.
Academic Earth
Free Philosophy & Politics Courses. More courses and lectures can be found on You Tube,iTunesu, Futurelearn, Coursera, EdX and Udacity.
Please let me know of any sites which would be particularly useful for beginning Philosophy students using the feedback page.

See also Politics Links on other pages

More News

Other pages on the site commemorate the life of Sue Tansey and describe Free Attractions in Dorset. Please let me have any suggestion for further content.

Buying Books On-line

If you wish to avoid Amazon, Alibris is the best site for secondhand book buying. A portal for hundreds of on-line sellers.(Abe Books has been taken over by Amazon).
Awesome Books
Usually the cheapest on-line secondhand bookseller. Mainly ex-library books. They provide a book to schools for every book sold. Cheaper direct than via Alibris or Amazon. Poor search facility on catalogue - persevere!
Hive Books
Usually cheaper than Amazon or Alibris for new books. A fraction of their profits can go to a nominated local bookshop.
A recent startup in the UK (originally in USA). Operates in a similar way to Hive with probably more going to your local bookshop - but you must remember to nominate a local shop for them to benefit strongly.
Puddletown Bookshop
Excellent local antiquarian bookshop also operates on-line.
Gullivers Bookshop Wimborne
My local independent bookshop - and also in Westbourne.