Philosophy Group


Philosophy Group

Co-ordinator:  Shirley Dignam

Tel: 01565 652958


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. These are the words of Hamlet. But what is philosophy? What did Hamlet mean? There are many definitions.

Whilst perhaps not intended by Hamlet in the way we now view it. The philosophy of his time was moving away from the spiritual interpretation towards the scientific. Science pursues factual knowledge about things. On the other hand philosophy rarely answers the questions it raises in this way. The objective of philosophy is to pose the question and then pursue a possible explanation by enquiry and questioning. Philosophy challenges apparently accepted “truths” and by logical examination either agrees or disagrees with the previous “truth”. Differing views are often proposed and then re-considered.

This process does not necessarily require scientific knowledge per se, although it can, in many instances be helpful and excite the inquiring mind. The sort of mind which does not take for granted what others have said. Philosophy deals in questions on which people in general do not agree. Where there is agreement there is no room for dissent and discussion. Philosophy is neither Science nor art, it is a unique activity. It is the Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning as well as empirical methods.

The output of this process can however have far reaching results. The philosophies of John Locke and Thomas Paine, for instance, found their way into the Constitution of the United States of America. Karl Marx had a tremendous influence on the modern growth of the USSR to name but a few.

If you are prepared to talk and listen (to others) and to argue the logic on which any statement is made, then we are the group for you. If you enjoy good discussion and debating issues please come along. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Methodist Church, Room 5, at 10:30 am to midday. Telephone Shirley Dignam on 01565 652958