Well, this is serious
Pigs, Happiness & John Stuart Mill
Kant & Lying
Thought for the Month
In the preface to his Dictionnaire Philosophique, Voltaire writes the following concerning the systematic pursuit of philosophical thought:
“… the ordinary man is not made for such knowledge; philosophy will never be his lot. Those who say that there are truths which must be hidden from the people, need not be alarmed; the people do not read; they work six days of the week, and on the seventh go to the inn. In a word, philosophical works are made only for philosophers, and every honest man must try to be a philosopher, without pluming himself on being one.”
Why is philosophy not popular, in the sense of being practised by many or indeed a majority? Why do only a relatively few pursue it?
Perhaps it is too hard some might answer, and others might claim it to be boring. But if that were the reason, then why do at least some people pay it attention and in some cases pursue it with relish?
Perhaps it requires a dedication of time that most people cannot afford, in amongst their busy lives preoccupied with survival and flourishing. Or perhaps it has nothing to offer really, so most clever people avoid it as a waste of time.
Some thoughts on this are welcome and can be left at the Parmenideum Blog
. Unless of course no one is interested...
The Trolly Problem: is there really a problem?
In this by now famous thought experiment, a runaway train is hurtling down a track. The people on board can be saved, but only by pushing a very large man off a bridge on to the track to stop the train.
Generally most people asked to contemplate this problem respond that it is ethically unacceptable to push the man off the bridge.
In this short 1-day encounter participants will be asked to defend the position that it is wrong to deliberately sacrifice even just one life to save many. Why, precisely, is it wrong?
The Parmenideum extends a welcome to all. Please send interest to email@example.com
|Some Philosophical Delights
|The summer "Play: Plato's Parmenides (we need brave volunteers for this one)
|The Autumn Play:David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion