News and Announcements

Going for Platinum (who needs gold)...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 12th August 2012 @ 4:21pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 27 August - 8.00 pm
NOT THE SPOON for August!!! 
Venue to be confirmed.

Attending?
  


Still having some difficulty arranging a venue as everywhere close to the city centre remains obsessed with the Festival. The venues I have tried so far have not been available and we may have to settle for somewhere further from the centre. If you have a suggestion that would be suitable and available please let me know.


Anyway, time to be thinking about the August meeting on Monday 27 August at 8.00 pm.

Current leading topic is still the suggestion of a form of 'Open Night':

Think on your feet (sitting down): No preparation, but lets draw a topic out the hat from suggestions on the night!


However, as usual, there are twelve topics to choose from, so it could all still change and more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 19 August and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 August.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Not the Olympics (nor the Festival)...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 5th August 2012 @ 11:36am

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 27 August - 8.00 pm
NOT THE SPOON for August!!! 
Venue to be confirmed.

Attending?
  


Summertime means the Festival in Edinburgh and that means no group bookings at the Spoon for the August meeting. The Back Room at the Southsider is also booked for Fringe events. I have some possible venues in mind but if you have a suggestion that would be suitable and available please let me know.


So, time to be thinking about the August meeting on Monday 27 August at 8.00 pm.

Current leading topic is the suggestion of a form of 'Open Night':

Think on your feet (sitting down): No preparation, but lets draw a topic out the hat from suggestions on the night!


However, as usual, there are twelve topics to choose from, so it could all still change and more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 19 August and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 August.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group September Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 24th September 2012 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: The Links Hotel and Bar, 4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU

    FREE event (with Free sandwiches!)

    Human Rights?: Are there really Universal Rights…

    • 15 people attended

Summertime and the living is wet...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 28th July 2012 @ 12:48pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 27 August - 8.00 pm
NOT THE SPOON for August!!! 
Venue to be confirmed.

Attending?
  


Summertime means the Festival in Edinburgh and that means no group bookings at the Spoon for the August meeting. The Back Room at the Southsider is also booked for Fringe events. I have some possible venues in mind but if you have a suggestion that would be suitable and available please let me know.


So, time to be thinking about the August meeting on Monday 27 August at 8.00 pm.

As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from with some new entrants, but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 19 August and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 August.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Values: REMEMBER! New venue for July: Southsider Bar, EH8 9EF

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 20th July 2012 @ 5:00pm

Hi All,

Monday 23 July - 8.00 pm
The Back Room, Southsider Bar,
3 - 7 West Richmond Street,
Edinburgh, EH8 9EF

Attending?
 


Please note the new venue for the July meeting. The Southsider is not far from the Spoon and is a bar with a great history. It used to be a favourite haunt of Iain Banks.

The topic for the July meeting is:

Values: Where do your values come from? Inherited from family, from education, religion, social norms?


As usual there is a topic booklet to help stimulate your thoughts, if they need stimulating. Of course you don't need to read anything. Just bring your ideas. But, if you wish, it can be read or downloaded from the site Home page or directly from:


 

Do try to get there in good time please, as it will help sort out the seating and make sure everyone is able to take part fully.

I shall be aiming to be at The Southsider around 7.00-7.30 pm to have a bite to eat before the Meeting starts. So feel free to join me early for some food. The Meeting notice will be on display.

Newcomers who don't immediately recognise me from my handsome photo can look out for Ed, the phrenology head, sitting on the table. He enjoys these nights out and is immediately recognisable as no-one else has writing all over their skull (usually!).



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

New venue for July: Southsider Bar, EH8 9EF

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Wednesday, 18th July 2012 @ 2:00am

Hi All,

Monday 23 July - 8.00 pm
The Back Room, Southsider Bar,
3 - 7 West Richmond Street,
Edinburgh, EH8 9EF

Attending?
 


Please note the new venue for the July meeting. The Southsider is not far from the Spoon and is a bar with a great history. It used to be a favourite haunt of Iain Banks.

The leading topic for the July meeting is:

Values: Where do your values come from? Inherited from family, from education, religion, social norms?


No need for a long introduction. This is familiar territory. We all have values, or think we do. We talk endlessly about a sense of value, of virtue and vice, courage and cowardice, generosity and greed. We assume there are values by which we can judge and are judged, either by others or by our own self assessment. 

But values are tricky things. Are we always clear about what our values are? What happens when they conflict with each other? Are some values 'core' and some merely preferences? What are the values we wish, or expect, to see in others?

Financial crises, bank scandals, wars, global warming, same sex marriage, Scottish independence... they are all matters in which we talk about values that we believe others should share and we become concerned where we feel that values are being undermined or lost. But is there really a common set of values to which we all subscribe or are they either personal or dogmatic ideologies shared only by a few.

Where do we get our sense of values from anyway? The Jesuits said "Give us the boy until the age of seven and we will give you the man." So are our values something we acquire early from our parents, our early education, exposure to religion? Or do they develop later, as part of the process of socialisation where we gradually absorb the values of our peers, our social environment, our culture, nationality or race?
  
Are there absolute values? How do we deal with those who may not share the values we hold dear? Are we entitled to use economic, political or even military means to enforce them? We may even ask the value of a human life. In some places it is regarded as sacrosanct while in others life seems cheap.

Do values change over time? Can we look at history and judge it by the values we may hold now? How will the future judge us?

As usual, so many questions to discuss.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

To make a Suggestion just click on the appropriate link below.
 



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

No wonder the Scots invented Mackintoshes...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 14th July 2012 @ 6:47pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 July - 8.00 pm
NOT THE SPOON for July or August!!! 
Venue to be confirmed.

Attending?
  


Summertime means the Festival in Edinburgh and that means no group bookings at the Spoon for our July and August meetings. I have had some useful suggestions (Thanks!) and am checking out some possible venues but if you have further a suggestion that would be suitable and available please let me know.


So, just three days to get your votes in for the July meeting on Monday 23 July at 8.00 pm.

Currently we are back to one clearly leading topic in the Poll:

Values: Where do your values come from? Inherited from family, from education, religion, social norms?


As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from with some new entrants, but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 July and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 July.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Hope you enjoyed the 4th...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 6th July 2012 @ 4:40pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 July - 8.00 pm
NOT THE SPOON for July or August!!! 
Venue to be confirmed.

Attending?
  


Summertime means the Festival in Edinburgh and that means no group bookings at the Spoon for our July and August meetings. I have some possible venues in mind but if you have a suggestion that would be suitable and available please let me know.


So, time to be thinking about the July meeting on Monday 23 July at 8.00 pm.

Currently we have two, tied, leading topics in the Poll:

Defining Madness: Are we at risk of defining many everyday experiences as mental illness? What is normality?

and

Values: Where do your values come from? Inherited from family, from education, religion, social norms?


As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from with some new entrants, but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 July and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 July.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Summertime and the living is wet...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 30th June 2012 @ 5:35pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 23 July - 8.00 pm
NOT THE SPOON for July or August!!! 
Venue to be confirmed.

Attending?
  


Summertime means the Festival in Edinburgh and that means no group bookings at the Spoon for our July and August meetings. I have some possible venues in mind but if you have a suggestion that would be suitable and available please let me know.


So, time to be thinking about the July meeting on Monday 23 July at 8.00 pm.

As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from with some new entrants, but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 15 July and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 16 July.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group August Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 27th August 2012 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: The Links Hotel and Bar, 4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU

    New Venue for August:

    The Links Hotel and Bar, 4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh…

    • 13 people attended

Naturally selected...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 22nd June 2012 @ 4:32pm

Hi All,

Monday 25 June - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


Time to get ready for Monday's meeting: 

Darwin's Dead?: Are humans still evolving? Is natural selection still operating? Where is it taking us?

As usual there is a topic booklet to help stimulate your thoughts, if they need stimulating. Of course you don't need to read anything. Just bring your ideas. But, if you wish, it can be read or downloaded from the site Home page or directly from:


 

Do try to get there in good time please, as it will help sort out the seating and make sure everyone is able to take part fully.

I shall be aiming to be at The Spoon Cafe Bistro around 7.00-7.30 pm to have a bite to eat before the Meeting starts. So feel free to join me early for some food. The Meeting notice will be on display on the tables.

Newcomers who don't immediately recognise me from my handsome photo can look out for Ed, the phrenology head, sitting on the table. He enjoys these nights out and is immediately recognisable as no-one else has writing all over their skull (usually!).  

 

Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Evolution beats Values... just...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Tuesday, 19th June 2012 @ 1:20am

Hi All,

Monday 25 June - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


Unusually, I think it's only happened once before, we have a tie in the Poll results. With 61% popularity each we have:

Darwin's Dead?: Are humans still evolving? Is natural selection still operating? Where is it taking us?

and

Values: Where do your values come from? Inherited from family, from education, religion, social norms?

As on the last occasion, the outcome is therefore decided by which topic received the larger number of 10 (maximum) votes. Darwin had 6 maximum Votes to Values 1 and thus comes out the winner as the topic for the June meeting on Monday 25 June at 8.00 pm.


Darwin's theoretical musings about the Origin of Species created uproar at the time of its publication in 1859. Despite a massive accumulation of evidence in its support, it remains controversial in some quarters today. Only 48% of the British public fully accept the concept of Evolution.

At a scientific level however, there is little doubt. Modern advances in genotyping and the analysis of DNA and the human genome have provided fascinating evidence for perhaps the greatest story ever told. It is possible to demonstrate the incredible shared biological inheritance of all life on Earth and to show how closely we are related to chimpanzees or orangutans, depending on the latest research you've read.  Barely a 2-3% difference.

From the time of the appearance of the Hominid species in Homo Habilis, some 2.5 Million years ago through the 'common Eve' of Homo Sapiens some 150 thousand years ago, right up to the present day, we can detect a process of gradual, evolutionary change. Natural selection has produced differentiation along a number of lines such as skin colour or lactose tolerance. The effect of the Black Death (1347-1351) which killed over 25 million people in Europe (a third of the population), or smallpox which was killing almost half a million Europeans annually in the late 18th Century produced drastic changes in the human genome that are still detectable.

Natural selection was hard at work until relatively modern times with a death rate of newborn babies that could be as high as one in three. No genes passed on from those who were vulnerable to early demise!

But what about now? If Natural Selection is the impact of environment on the probability of survival to procreation, what happens when, in the Western world at least, 99% of births reach reproductive age? Now we are less victims than masters of our environment and many genetic lines are preserved that once might have disappeared. Not only that, we are getting to a point where, rather than natural selection, inheritable traits may be a matter of choice - genetic engineering.

So has Natural Selection ceased? Has the process of Evolution for the Human Species virtually ended? Is this as good as it gets? Or are changes still occurring by some processes, natural or otherwise, that will continue to change the very nature of who we are?

If so, what are the processes? How much control do we have? Where might future Evolution take us? Are we playing with fire? What are the risks? What traits might (should) be being selected? What will we be like in another 150 thousand years, or much less?

As usual, so many questions to discuss.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

To make a Suggestion just click on the appropriate link below.
 



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Dangerous decisions...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 16th June 2012 @ 12:28pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 25 June - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


A fun week last week with Scotland's Colleges Festival of Dangerous Ideas. The Philosophy Cafes in Edinburgh and Glasgow were a success and recapitulated some of the discussions we had at our May meeting.

But on to June and just three days to complete the voting. The current lead topic, despite being briefly overtaken at one point, is still: 

Darwin's Dead?: Are humans still evolving? Is natural selection still operating? Where is it taking us?

So, a last chance to set the topic for the 
June meeting on Monday 25 June at 8.00 pm.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard. The Poll closes late on Monday 18 June


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Nearly midsummer? You must be joking...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 8th June 2012 @ 8:02pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 25 June - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


The Olympic Torch may have arrived but that seems to be the only heat we are currently getting. Scottish Summer as usual! However the Poll for the June meeting is hotting up and the leading topic at this point is: 

Darwin's Dead?: Are humans still evolving? Is natural selection still operating? Where is it taking us?

Of course there is still plenty of time for that choice to be overturned. As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

So, time to be thinking about the 
June meeting on Monday 25 June at 8.00 pm.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 17 June and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 18 June.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     


Don't forget these special events next week:


In collaboration with Scotland's Colleges Festival (11-15 June) there will be two philosophy events on the topic of 'Is Education Dangerous?'

Edinburgh: Monday 11 June, 7.00pm

The Captain's Bar, 4 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA

and

Glasgow: Thursday 14 June, 7.00pm

The Mews Coffee Shop, 1 Newton Place, Mews on Elderslie Street, Glasgow G3 7RB


Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

Meadows Festival... time for a Jubilee?

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 3rd June 2012 @ 12:34am

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 25 June - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


Education proved a very lively discussion indeed for May with a range of views strongly expressed. A classy evening? Anyway here we are, well on the way to the June meeting, and the Polling station is open. 

As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from with some new entrants, but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

So, time to be thinking about the
June meeting on Monday 25 June at 8.00 pm.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 17 June and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 18 June.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group July Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 23rd July 2012 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: The Back Room at the Southsider Bar, 3-7 West Richmond Street, EH8 9EF

    Values: Where do your values come from? Inherited from family, from education, religion,…

    • 14 people attended

School Assembly... the bell is ringing...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 25th May 2012 @ 8:42pm

Hi All,

Monday 28 May - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


Time to get ready for Monday's meeting: 

Learning the Lessons: Is education getting poorer? What should we be teaching and how? Basic 3 Rs?

As usual there is a topic booklet (shared with the Dangerous Ideas event) to help stimulate your thoughts, if they need stimulating. Of course you don't need to read anything. Just bring your ideas. But, if you wish, it can be read or downloaded from the site Home page or directly from:


 

Do try to get there in good time please, as it will help sort out the seating and make sure everyone is able to take part fully.

I shall be aiming to be at The Spoon Cafe Bistro around 7.00-7.30 pm to have a bite to eat before the Meeting starts. So feel free to join me early for some food. The Meeting notice will be on display on the tables.

Newcomers who don't immediately recognise me from my handsome photo can look out for Ed, the phrenology head, sitting on the table. He enjoys these nights out and is immediately recognisable as no-one else has writing all over their skull (usually!).  

 

Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

We don't need no Eduk... no Edicut... no Edicta... no Skool...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Wednesday, 23rd May 2012 @ 10:43pm

Hi All,

Monday 28 May - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


A busy week this week. I hope some of you may make it to the Ragged University talks tomorrow (Thursday) - it should be fun. In the meantime, your Votes have once again selected a topic for May

Learning the Lessons: Is education getting poorer? What should we be teaching and how? Basic 3 Rs?

It's interesting that Education has come up just ahead of The Festival of Dangerous Ideas sessions in June on "Is Education Dangerous?" What's more, the topic is in the headlines this week with the controversy over whether schools are ready to deliver the new 'National Qualifications' and the report from Arnold Clark suggesting that up to 80% of the young people being turned out by schools and colleges are 'unemployable'.

Scotland used to take pride in its education system. Education was the beacon of the enlightenment and the foundation for the success of Scots inventors, artists, writers, philosophers and entrepreneurs for several generations.

Are we as proud of it today?

Arguably, Education has gone from being the valued cornerstone of Scottish culture to the political football of those more concerned with pursuing dogma than advancing learning. There are claims that it has been dumbed down to a system where competition is discouraged, no one fails and courses are simply aimed at meeting quotas and ensuring 'acceptable' results in school league tables. Arnold Clark describes many college courses as 'state sponsored babysitting' with little attempt to inculcate basic skills of literacy or numeracy, let alone social skills of citizenship, team working and the work etihic for which Scots used to be famed.

All this, however, begs the basic question, what is Education? What is its purpose and by what criteria should we measure its success? Originally from Latin meaning 'to draw out from within' it was initially used in English around 1530 to refer to coaching in social codes and manners and came to mean "systematic schooling and training for work" from around 1610. 

What is it today though? Is it still a means of 'drawing out' the best that an individual is capable of and expanding their knowledge and understanding? Is it simply a means of instilling social rules and behaviours to ensure conformity and adherence to current social norms? Is it a means of creating a workforce to satisfy Society's need for consumerism and the generation of goods and wealth? Or is it a way of ticking the political boxes and getting young people through standardised testing systems? Who benefits?

Does it achieve any of those aims? Should it? Are there better reasons to encourage Education? Are there essentials that form the basis of Education as a system? If so, what are they? 

For many young people today, Education has become a sham. The social contract seems broken. Where once a good education and diligence held meaningful promise of employment and success, now it can seem a cruel joke where an honours degree can become a qualification to flip burgers.

So, lets talk about Education and see if we can learn something. 

 
Two other upcoming events of interest
:
 

   

With Free Buffet!

Thursday 24 May 7.00pm

The Counting House
, upstairs from the Peartree on West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DD

Prof Ray Miller talks about 'Happiness in Practice: a practical guide to improving personal well-being'

and

Oliver Escobar talks about 'Stealing politics from politicians: Reinventing democracy through direct citizen participation'


Further details from the
Facebook Page.

In collaboration with Scotland's Colleges Festival there will be two Philosophy Group events on the topic of 'Is Education Dangerous?'

Edinburgh: Monday 11 June, 7.00pm

The Captain's Bar, 4 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA

and

Glasgow: Thursday 14 June, 7.00pm 

The Mews Coffee Shop, 1 Newton Place, Mews on Elderslie Street, Glasgow G3 7RB

Further details and Booking from the
Festival Website.

(despite the daunting booking form, you don't have to be an academic or involved in the colleges to sign up!)



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

The sun May shine... hope springs eternal...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 18th May 2012 @ 11:22pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 28 May - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


Just three days to go in the Voting for the May topic and the one currently in lead position is: 

Learning the Lessons: Is education getting poorer? What should we be teaching and how? Basic 3 Rs?

Of course last minute changes are by no means unknown - so if you still want to influence the outcome then cast your Vote.

So, time to be thinking about the 
May meeting on Monday 28 May at 8.00 pm.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard. You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 21 May



Two other upcoming events of interest
:
 

   

With Free Buffet!

Thursday 24 May 7.00pm

The Counting House
, upstairs from the Peartree on West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DD

Prof Ray Miller talks about 'Happiness in Practice: a practical guide to improving personal well-being'

and

Oliver Escobar talks about 'Stealing politics from politicians: Reinventing democracy through direct citizen participation'


Further details from the
Facebook Page.

In collaboration with Scotland's Colleges Festival there will be two Philosophy Group events on the topic of 'Is Education Dangerous?'

Edinburgh: Monday 11 June, 7.00pm

The Captain's Bar, 4 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA

and

Glasgow: Thursday 14 June, 7.00pm 

The Mews Coffee Shop, 1 Newton Place, Mews on Elderslie Street, Glasgow G3 7RB

Further details and Booking from the
Festival Website.

(despite the daunting booking form, you don't have to be an academic or involved in the colleges to sign up!)



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 

May the best topic win... plus a new Edinburgh group...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 11th May 2012 @ 1:59pm

Logo

Hi All,

Monday 28 May - 8.00 pm
Spoon Cafe Bistro, 6a Nicolson Street, EH8 9DH, 0131 557 4567
Upstairs cafe opposite the Festival Theatre

Attending?
  


Just over a week to go in the Voting for the May topic and we have two possibilities tied in lead position: 

Cradle to Grave: Can the welfare state provide total care for everyone? What are the priorities? What gets left out?

and

Learning the Lessons: Is education getting poorer? What should we be teaching and how? Basic 3 Rs?

Of course there is still plenty of time for these choices to be overturned. As usual, there are twelve topics to choose from but more could still be added if you have a great idea you are burning to see discussed.

So, time to be thinking about the 
May meeting on Monday 28 May at 8.00 pm.

Get your
Votes in and make your voice heard.


New suggestions welcome!.

Especially welcome are ideas from the newer members who have joined over the last few months. It's one way to make sure the group stays relevant and interesting for you.

Further Suggestions can be included until Sunday 20 May and you can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 21 May.

To make a Suggestion or Vote  just click on the appropriate link below.
 

     


A new group that might appeal to some members has recently started up in Edinburgh facilitated by Sara Mele. Philosophy in Pubs. I attended a meeting this week and it was great fun. Similar yet different. Just what is needed: variety. You can access their website HERE.


Two other upcoming events of interest
:
 

   

With Free Buffet!

Thursday 24 May 7.00pm

The Counting House
, upstairs from the Peartree on West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DD

Prof Ray Miller talks about 'Happiness in Practice: a practical guide to improving personal well-being'

and

Oliver Escobar talks about 'Stealing politics from politicians: Reinventing democracy through direct citizen participation'


Further details from the
Facebook Page.

In collaboration with Scotland's Colleges Festival there will be two Philosophy Group events on the topic of 'Is Education Dangerous?'

Edinburgh: Monday 11 June, 7.00pm

The Captain's Bar, 4 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA

and

Glasgow: Thursday 14 June, 7.00pm 

The Mews Coffee Shop, 1 Newton Place, Mews on Elderslie Street, Glasgow G3 7RB

Further details and Booking from the
Festival Website.

(despite the daunting booking form, you don't have to be an academic or involved in the colleges to sign up!)



Do also remember the Discussion Forum . This is your opportunity to continue the debates between meetings or to air the topics you'd like to discuss that never quite make it in the Poll.


It's good to see that some of you have added Photos to your profiles but we'd all like to be able to recognise each other at meetings and it would be great to see a few more of you give us the benefit of your portrait. You can add it here:

 


The Edinburgh Philosophy and Psychology Group

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