News and Announcements

Home from home...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 21st February 2014 @ 2:10pm

Hi All,

Monday 24 February - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


Almost time for our next meeting on Monday,  24 February 2014 at 8.00 pm. So I hope you will come out of your homes to feel at home and join in the discussion! See you there.

Home is where...?: What makes a home? Where you live? Where you were raised? Where you feel at ease? Or where the heart is?

As usual, there is a file available, "Home", that you can download for some interesting information. Of course, you don't have to read anything, just bring your views and opinions.

I shall be there early from 7.30 pm. Look for the Group signs in the window of the Coffee Lounge, between the Bar entrance (on the left) and the Hotel entrance (on the right). We will be in the middle and accessible from either entrance. Enjoy the sandwiches. The bar also does a great range of food and snacks.

Ed the Head will be there too, waiting for you. Do try to be there in good time so we can get the seating sorted in case it is crowded. 

 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.


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:

Home from Oz...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Wednesday, 19th February 2014 @ 10:31pm

Hi All,

Monday 24 February - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


Once again we have a winner in the Poll. It very nearly succeeded last month, but this month was a runaway leader from the start.

Home is where...?: What makes a home? Where you live? Where you were raised? Where you feel at ease? Or where the heart is?

So, time to be thinking about the next meeting on 24 February 2014 at 8.00 pm.

Home may seem like, dare I say it, a rather homely topic of discussion but it is actually very timely as we consider the changing society in which we live.

If we look back just a couple of generations, Home was a very clear concept. It was where you were born, brought up, lived with your family and, for most people, died. Home was where you were surrounded by friends you met young and kept for a lifetime: you married and brought up your own family there. You played, studied and worked in an environment that changed very little. Many people never moved further than forty miles or so from home and there was a strong identification with place, people, customs and practices. It felt secure most of the time and, if not, it was worth defending with all one's strength and ability. Dad's Army and the Home Guard.

Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, had many exciting adventures but, in the end, she clicked her heels in the ruby slippers and repeated "There's no place like Home...". Her perception, like many of the cinema audience of the day, was that Home was the place to be or to return to. 

But do we have the same sense of Home now? We have become a very mobile population, at least here in the affluent West (no comments about wicked witches please...), and may move Home several times in our lives. It is no longer simply a geographical identification, or is it? Do we still cling to the notion that our origin is the one true Home? Or has it become that wherever I hang my hat is my Home?

Maybe for nomadic tribes location was never the key factor anyway. Perhaps it was relationships, culture and shared, comforting familiarity. But even that is changing. Many of us will find ourselves living in new and different cultures: settled, at least for a while; integrated perhaps or at least interacting; but will it ever be Home?

So what makes a Home? If it isn't location or simply the comfort of continuity, then what does make us feel at Home? For the British Empire in India it was afternoon tea and an excessive Britishness that soon became at odds with the reality of cultural change in Britain itself. An idealised Home that provided a buffer against Culture Shock.   

And what about the notion of independence. For many years in the late 20th century young people sought to 'escape' from Home with its rules, regulations and restrictions. To travel in search of their independent fortunes that might take them anywhere from the other side of their city to the other side of the world. But now, in times of recession, we are seeing more young people continuing to live at Home. Is that a sanctuary, a refuge, or a trap?

And then there is the controversial topic of immigration - very much in the news. We have seen the UK increasingly become 'Home' to a wide diversity of races and cultures. Some see that as threatening established notions of a Home Country while others see it as expanding our very notion of Home in a more inclusive way. What about immigrants themselves? How will they define Home and what will they want to bring with them in terms of custom and culture that will make this their Home? Does becoming a British Citizen make the UK Home? Does Home mean the same in a multi ethnic. multi cultural society? Or is there, like the Empire abroad, a risk of idealising a concept of Home that perhaps never existed, is certainly changing, and is moving in directions it's hard to anticipate. Alvin Tofler coined the term 'Future Shock' as a comparison with Culture Shock. The idea that time and the increasing pace of change themselves are undermining that sense of security that we associated with the concept of 'No place like Home'.

Many group members will have found themselves considering these issues on a personal basis as their lives have developed. So what have been your own personal insights? What does Home mean to you? Has the loss of a sense of Home been an issue? And how, if at all, have you come to terms with it?

As usual, so much to discuss.
 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

Notice!

Theresa Valtin sent in a notice for this online course:

ONLINE MSc in Epistemology, Ethics and Mind at the University of Edinburgh


You can see the notice by clicking the link above or get more information from Edinburgh University here.


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:

Become a philosophy Master...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 15th February 2014 @ 1:06pm

Hi All,

Monday 24 February - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


It's usually Scotland that gets credited with having all the bad weather but it looks as though we are getting off relatively lightly compared with all the flooding and devastation we are seeing south of the border. Perhaps sometimes we take the comfort and security of our homes rather too much for granted. The idea of being flooded out for days or weeks on end really seems too awful to contemplate
! Maybe that's the why the topic of Home has remained the leader in the Poll.

Not too early to be thinking about the next meeting on 24 February 2014. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic with just three days remaining to cast your vote.

Currently the lead topic in the Poll is still:

Home is where...?: What makes a home? Where you live? Where you were raised? Where you feel at ease? Or where the heart is?

But it is not too late for it to change! Get your vote in quickly!

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

     

 You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 17 February.


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.
 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

Notice!

Theresa Valtin sent in a notice for this online course:

ONLINE MSc in Epistemology, Ethics and Mind at the University of Edinburgh


You can see the notice by clicking the link above or get more information from Edinburgh University here.


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:

Who's your Valentine...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 8th February 2014 @ 11:14pm

Hi All,

Monday 24 February - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


It's that time of the year again. Red roses, candle light, boxes of chocolates and the whisper of sweet nothings. Actually it better be sweet somethings as ignoring that special person in your life can have dire consequences
! Relationships are a fascinating field of both psychology and philosophy. No doubt we'll get to discussing those at some point!

Not too early to be thinking about the next meeting on 24 February 2014. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

Currently the lead topic in the Poll is:

Home is where...?: What makes a home? Where you live? Where you were raised? Where you feel at ease? Or where the heart is?

Perhaps just a bit of the Valentine in that too? But it is not too late for it to change!

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

     

 You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 17 February.


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.
 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Year of the Horse

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 1st February 2014 @ 12:58pm

Hi All,

Monday 24 February - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  

Rui would never forgive me if I didn't remind you that we have just entered the Chinese Year of the Horse (Wood), leaving the Year of the Snake (Water).  According to The Independent,

It will be a fast year full of conflicts according to some astrologers, who see wood as providing fuel for the energetic horse sign. The later part of the year is “yin fire”, increasing the potential for heated clashes even more. Feng shui practitioner Raymond Lo told Reuters: “The upcoming Horse year is also a 'yang wood' year, when people will stick more to their principles and stand firm. So it is hard to negotiate or compromise as there are more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals.”

Sounds like an 'interesting' year for the Group!!

Not too early to be thinking about the next meeting on 24 February 2014. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

Currently there are two topics tied for the lead in the Poll:

Home is where...?: What makes a home? Where you live? Where you were raised? Where you feel at ease? Or where the heart is?

Measuring Love?: fMRI brain scans have been used to measure 'Love' as neurology. But can you measure Love or emotion? If so, how?

But it is not too late for that to change!

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

     

 You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 17 February.


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.
 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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 Good, the Bad and the Group...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 25th January 2014 @ 10:20pm

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


The hour approaches, as Burns wrote, but your destination is closer than Kirk Alloway and you won't have to rely on your gray mare Meg. But, like Tam o' Shanter, you will find yourself confronted with questions of the nature of Good and Evil at our meeting on
27 January 2014 at 8.00pm. We will also be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007.

Human Nature: Are Humans naturally Angels or Devils or somewhere in between? What drives our thoughts and actions?

As usual, there is a file available, Angels and Demons, that you can download for some interesting information. Of course, you don't have to read anything, just bring your views and opinions.

I shall be there early from 7.30 pm. Look for the Group signs in the window of the Coffee Lounge, between the Bar entrance (on the left) and the Hotel entrance (on the right). We will be in the middle and accessible from either entrance. Enjoy the sandwiches. The bar also does a great range of food and snacks.

Ed the Head will be there too, waiting for you. Do try to be there in good time so we can get the seating sorted in case it is crowded. 
 
 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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 March Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 24th March 2014 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: The Links Hotel and Bar, 4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU

    FREE event (with free sandwiches)

    Discussions are…

    • 12 people attended

Angels and Demons

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Wednesday, 22nd January 2014 @ 12:02am

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


As occasionally happens, we ended up with two topics tied in the Poll. My casting vote went to the one that had remained in the lead right up until the very last vote was recorded. So we have a winner for our meeting on
27 January 2014 at 8.00pm. We will also be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007.

Human Nature: Are Humans naturally Angels or Devils or somewhere in between? What drives our thoughts and actions?

The question of our true human nature is one that has vexed philosophers, religions and science since the beginnings of reflective thought. Much of the time the suggestion has been that we are essentially flawed creatures, damned by 'original sin' and kept on the straight and narrow path only by our adherence to some higher power that manages our baser emotions, desires and actions. We are inherently not to be trusted without the adoption of faith and obedience. We are weak and open to corruption by evil forces - the 'devil'. Evil is within us and may overwhelm us. Whether it is the extremes of exorcism or the ritual of confession, we must constantly cleanse ourselves in order to be pure and whole.

On the other hand there are those who would say that 'natural man' is inherently good. Rousseau suggested that primitive man had an uncorrupted morality that was only destroyed by the adoption of 'civilisation' with concepts such as ownership and property.

"The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." 

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, 1754

In this view, humans are Angels who have fallen. Brought down by the trappings of a social model that sets them at odds with nature and each other. Many have suggested that we can return to our original state of grace by rejecting these models and returning to a simpler way of life.

What does Psychology have to say? Perhaps two major studies have added to this debate in particular. One is the study by Stanley Milgram that involved experimenters persuading subjects to apply apparently potentially lethal electric shocks to others. This is suggested to show that obedience to authority can override ethics and morality and thus we all have the potential to engage in evil acts. We may indeed be morally weak creatures. Does this explain many of the horrific acts we see carried out in places like Syria, Sudan or the Central African Republic (CAR) in today's news?

Or, even more widely quoted, is the Stanford Prison experiment undertaken by Philip Zimbardo. Here subjects randomly chosen to be 'guards' became brutal and hostile towards those who had randomly been assigned to a 'prisoner' role. This has been seen as demonstrating that we all have an 'evil' side that is only managed by social constraints and which, if those change, may be easily and readily expressed. Zimbardo himself describes this as "The Lucifer Effect" in one of his popular books.

But is that what those studies really tell us? Recent re-examination by modern psychologists such as Stephen Reicher and Alex Haslam point out that there may be rather more to these studies than previous reports have suggested and the conclusions may not be as clear as was thought.

So what is our Human Nature? Angels or Demons, or just weak and vulnerable when it comes to ethics and morality? Do we even have a 'Nature' or are we simply driven by context and circumstances?

As usual, so much to discuss. 
 

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Market days are wearing late...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 18th January 2014 @ 11:41am

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


It's that time already. Just three days to vote in the January Poll to decide the topic for our first meeting of 2014. A whole year ahead of us of fascinating and educational discussion on a whole range of topics!

As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure: 

Time to be thinking about the next meeting on 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

Currently still in the lead by a narrow margin is:

Human Nature: Are Humans naturally Angels or Devils or somewhere in between? What drives our thoughts and actions?

But it is not too late for that to change!

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

A man's a man for a' that...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 11th January 2014 @ 10:51am

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


Not too long until Burns night and soon you should all be filling yourselves with haggis (traditional or vegetarian), neeps and tatties. Brush up on your Burns poetry too. Lots of good philosophy and psychology in the rhymes of the national bard!

Not too early to be thinking about the next meeting on 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

Currently in the lead by a narrow margin is:

Human Nature: Are Humans naturally Angels or Devils or somewhere in between? What drives our thoughts and actions?

But it is not too late for that to change!

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Seven years of discussions...

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 5th January 2014 @ 11:48am

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


Well, here we are at the beginning of another year of discussion and debate. This will mark the start of our 8th year. Who would have thought we'd last so long? Still, that is down to your contributions to what are always lively and fun sessions.

Not too early to be thinking about the next meeting on 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Happy Hogman Eh!

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 29th December 2013 @ 12:39pm

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


Stormy times but I hope you are all survived the wind and rain and are enjoying the couple of days of unseasonal sunshine. Who knows what the weather will be like for the street party though. If it isn't cancelled Rui and I will be down there.

Not too early to be thinking about the next meeting on 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Naughty or Nice?

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 21st December 2013 @ 10:43am

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


So, midwinter and nearly time to find out how Santa's elves have been recording your behaviour for the year. After all the festive food and drink, I hope he brings me some antacid tablets! But, talking of food, thanks to all who came to the Yule Social. It was a great evening and good to have the chance to chat to more of you in depth.

The next meeting in the normal format will be 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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 February Meeting (RSVP)

  • Monday, 24th February 2014 at 8pm - 9:30pm
    Location: The Links Hotel and Bar, 4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU

    FREE event (with free sandwiches)

    Discussions are…

    • 7 people attended

Season's Greetings

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Sunday, 15th December 2013 @ 12:44pm

Hi All,

Monday 27 January - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


Rui and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best for the Festive Season. Some of you will be attending the Yule Social and we look forward to seeing you there. For those who have not booked for that event, we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

The next meeting in the normal format will be 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.
 


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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Yule Social spaces still available: Please reply by 9 December

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 7th December 2013 @ 2:10pm

Hi All,

Monday 16 December - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  

One week earlier than usual!

Time to be thinking about the December meeting on Monday 16 December at 8.00 pm.

Please note that we are meeting a week earlier in December to avoid the hectic Christmas week!

Also, given that we will be in the Festive Season, this will be a mainly social meeting. There will be some extra buffet style food instead of the usual sandwiches and the emphasis will be on chatting to one another and sharing ideas and thoughts. There will be no specific topic but, as we found last year, that didn't stop some fun and lively discussion.

Members old (in duration) and new will be welcome and it is a chance to get to know better those people you've been disagreeing with all year or will almost certainly debate with in the future.

A great chance to enjoy the friendly and informal character of the group so I hope to see you all there.

To help with arranging the buffet, it will be very useful if people can respond early. Please try to do so by 9 December. Reminders will be circulated and places may need to be limited.

The next meeting in the normal format will be 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.
 


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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Yule love the social: Please reply by 9 December

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Saturday, 30th November 2013 @ 1:22pm

Hi All,

Monday 16 December - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  

One week earlier than usual!

Time to be thinking about the December meeting on Monday 16 December at 8.00 pm.

Please note that we are meeting a week earlier in December to avoid the hectic Christmas week!

Also, given that we will be in the Festive Season, this will be a mainly social meeting. There will be some extra buffet style food instead of the usual sandwiches and the emphasis will be on chatting to one another and sharing ideas and thoughts. There will be no specific topic but, as we found last year, that didn't stop some fun and lively discussion.

Members old (in duration) and new will be welcome and it is a chance to get to know better those people you've been disagreeing with all year or will almost certainly debate with in the future.

A great chance to enjoy the friendly and informal character of the group so I hope to see you all there.

To help with arranging the buffet, it will be very useful if people can respond early. Please try to do so by 9 December. Reminders will be circulated and places may need to be limited.

The next meeting in the normal format will be 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.
 


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. You can also see notices for non group events.

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:

Yule Social: Please reply by 9 December

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Wednesday, 27th November 2013 @ 2:28am

Hi All,

Monday 16 December - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  

One week earlier than usual!

Time to be thinking about the December meeting on Monday 16 December at 8.00 pm.

Please note that we are meeting a week earlier in December to avoid the hectic Christmas week!

Also, given that we will be in the Festive Season, this will be a mainly social meeting. There will be some extra buffet style food instead of the usual sandwiches and the emphasis will be on chatting to one another and sharing ideas and thoughts. There will be no specific topic but, as we found last year, that didn't stop some fun and lively discussion.

Members old (in duration) and new will be welcome and it is a chance to get to know better those people you've been disagreeing with all year or will almost certainly debate with in the future.

A great chance to enjoy the friendly and informal character of the group so I hope to see you all there.

To help with arranging the buffet, it will be very useful if people can respond early. Please try to do so by 9 December. Reminders will be circulated and places may need to be limited.

The next meeting in the normal format will be 27 January 2014. We will be celebrating the 7th anniversary of our very first meeting in 2007. The Poll is already open for voting on the topic.

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

     


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.

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January.


Advance Notices!

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. You can also see notices for non group events.

This month we have a notice about a Philosophy Think Tank on   

Thursday, 28 November 2013, 5.30pm

Hugh Robson Lecture Theatre, George Square, The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy Think Tank brings outstanding junior philosophers from around the world to Edinburgh to present their innovative research. Join us and find out about the future of philosophy!

Free, but ticketed. Please book your tickets at https://edinburgh-university-220.eventbrite.co.uk/
 

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 Meaning of Life?

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Friday, 22nd November 2013 @ 8:29pm

Hi All,

Monday 25 November - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


"Life is just a bowl of All Bran", sang the Small Faces, "You wake up every morning and it's there." But is there more to it than that? T
ime to be thinking about the November meeting on Monday 25 November at 8.00 pm.


The winner in the the Poll, is:

The Meaning of Meaning: What gives meaning and purpose to Life? Is it all pointless in the end or has it a real value?

As usual, there is a file available, Meaning of Life, that you can download for some interesting information. Of course, you don't have to read anything, just bring your views and opinions.

I shall be there early from 7.30 pm. Look for the Group signs in the window of the Coffee Lounge, between the Bar entrance (on the left) and the Hotel entrance (on the right). We will be in the middle and accessible from either entrance. Enjoy the sandwiches. The bar also does a great range of food and snacks.

Ed the Head will be there too, waiting for you. Do try to be there in good time so we can get the seating sorted in case it is crowded.


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.

As the December meeting will be largely a social get-together, the next discussion meeting will be in January 2014.

To make a Suggestion or Vote for January's topic, just click on the appropriate link below.

  

You can Vote or change your Vote right up to late on Monday 20 January

 

Advance Notices!

As the December meeting would fall on 23 December, we will be moving it a week ahead to 16 December to avoid the Christmas week. It will mainly be a social meeting with informal chat and discussion. So keep alert for further details.


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. You can also see notices for non group events.

This month we have a notice about a Philosophy Think Tank on   

Thursday, 28 November 2013, 5.30pm

Hugh Robson Lecture Theatre, George Square, The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy Think Tank brings outstanding junior philosophers from around the world to Edinburgh to present their innovative research. Join us and find out about the future of philosophy!

Free, but ticketed. Please book your tickets at https://edinburgh-university-220.eventbrite.co.uk/
 

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:

Two days left to vote this year!

E-mail sent by Ray Miller, Tuesday, 19th November 2013 @ 1:22pm

Hi All,

Monday 25 November - 8.00 pm
The Links Hotel and Bar 
4 Alvanley Terrace, Edinburgh EH9 1DU
(Bruntsfield Links, Whitehouse Loan)
http://www.links-hotel-edinburgh.co.uk/findus.html

Attending?
  


A flurry of last minute voting led to a very close result with the winner leading by only one vote. Still, we have a topic! T
ime to be thinking about the November meeting on Monday 25 November at 8.00 pm.


The winner in the the Poll, is:

The Meaning of Meaning: What gives meaning and purpose to Life? Is it all pointless in the end or has it a real value?

Maybe it's the news that the Monty Python team are getting back together, maybe it’s the horror of the devastation in the Philippines, maybe it's just the fact that we are approaching the festive season. Every so often something happens that causes us to pause for a moment, look at our lives and ask "Yes, but what does it all mean?". Life is a roller coaster. Nobody gets to the end of the ride without a series of climbs and falls, triumphs and tragedies, euphoria and despair. When things are going well, maybe we just accept that and live for the moment but, when things are going badly, we often ask the questions "Why? Why me? Is there a purpose?". Questions that often seem more urgent in the years when we are forming our views on life and towards the end of life.

Of course the hard-nosed scientist might say there is no meaning or purpose. The Universe just is and our existence and lives are just the consequence of the operation of the basic principles of organisation of matter and energy that followed the Big Bang. In a deterministic Universe, the concept of any meaning and purpose to Being is an irrelevance. Science can answer questions of How but not Why.

At the other end of the scale there is Religion. Generally that implies that there is a higher power that provides a metaphysical explanation of meaning and purpose. Perhaps it is to live a good and moral life, to accumulate karma, to please a God or for some purpose we may never fully understand but which is determined by that supernatural being or consciousness.

Somewhere in the middle might come the philosophers who may persuade us that Life is its own meaning and purpose and that there are overarching principles of value, morality and social purpose, even perhaps an evolutionary purpose, that make our individual lives worthwhile. Consciousness and our ability to comprehend Life, to be creative, inventive and the pursuit of knowledge are sufficient ends in themselves. 

But are any of these definitions true? Or, indeed, are they enough? Perhaps, when it comes down to it, the only real meaning and purpose to Life is that which we choose to give it ourselves. Maybe the search for meaning is more about our internal, psychological approach to life; the values we choose to develop, accept and live by. Maybe rather than search for universal meaning we must create it, each for ourselves.  

As usual, so much to discuss.

Advance Notices!

As the December meeting would fall on 23 December, we will be moving it a week ahead to 16 December to avoid the Christmas week. It will mainly be a social meeting with informal chat and discussion. So keep alert for further details.


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. You can also see notices for non group events.

This month we have a notice about a Philosophy Think Tank on   

Thursday, 28 November 2013, 5.30pm

Hugh Robson Lecture Theatre, George Square, The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy Think Tank brings outstanding junior philosophers from around the world to Edinburgh to present their innovative research. Join us and find out about the future of philosophy!

Free, but ticketed. Please book your tickets at https://edinburgh-university-220.eventbrite.co.uk/
 

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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