Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cafe Philo in New York City - next week: "What is meant by suffering?"

There are a number of small groups in the U.S. and Europe who meet regularly to discuss topics related to philosophy. Some of these groups go by the name "Cafe Philo." There is one here in New York City that meets every two weeks, every other Thursday. It is organized and moderated by Bernard Roy, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Each meeting focuses on a specific topic which was suggested and voted on by the participants at the last meeting.

The meetings are held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the back room at Bamiyan Restaurant (Afghan food) at the northwest corner of Third Avenue and 26th Street in New York City. In exchange for free meeting space, it is expected that each attendee will purchase a minimum of $5 of food or drink.

There is usually some number of attendees who go across the street to McCormack's Bar for drinks and food and extended discussion after Cafe Philo.

We skipped Thursday, January 1, 2009 due to the holidays, so the next meeting will be on Thursday, January 15, 2009.

The discussion topic for this next meeting is "What is meant by suffering?".

I will be the guest moderator at this next meeting since Bernard will not have returned from France.

Also, there is an online discussion forum for the NYC Cafe Philo at:

I have been attending the NYC Cafe Philo off and on since 2004. Previously I had attended the Cafe Philo in Washington, D.C. starting in 2001.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 4:24 PM , Blogger Lee Devlin said...

Hi Jack,

Experiencing pain in life is mandatory, but suffering is optional. I'd say that suffering is more related to mental anguish, rather than physical pain.

A excellent way to induce suffering is by harboring unpleasant thoughts, especially about the future. As Mark Twain put it, "I've suffered a great many tragedies in my life, most of them never happened."

At 5:18 PM , Anonymous Jack Krupansky said...

Google found the correct Twain quote, which is not strictly about suffering, per se:

"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."

See: Mark Twain Quotes

-- Jack Krupansky


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