Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cafe Philo in New York City in two weeks: "Should the State Ignore, Prohibit or Regulate Bungee Jumping?"

The discussion topic for the next Cafe Philo in New York City, in two weeks, on Thursday, October 8, 2009, is "Should the State Ignore, Prohibit or Regulate Bungee Jumping?".

Relax. The actual topic is not "bungee jumping" per se, which is just a clever placeholder for activities in general. So, the question could have been worded as "What role should the government have in prohibiting or regulating any activities of its citizens?" or "When should the government be involved in prohibiting or regulating any activities of its citizens?"

Meanwhile, I will be attending the Cafe Philo in Washington, D.C. this Sunday (tomorrow), September 27, 2009 where the discussion topic will be "Is It Better to Be Popular While Alive or Famous After Death?" Their group meets at Reiter's Book Store, 1990 K St., NW, Washington, DC from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We are not sure who will be moderating Cafe Philo NYC yet since Bernard Roy has been experiencing health problems lately. He is back in NYC and attended the past two Cafe Philo sessions as a participant. So far, Frank De Canio has done a great job of moderating our discussions. Try to imagine moderating a group of passionate New Yorkers!

There were 15 people there this past Thursday for the disscussion of "What is social class?", including Bernard as a participant even though Frank De Canio continued as moderator.

Catch up on preparatory online discussions in the Yahoo! group for Cafe Philo NYC.

As usual, the meeting will be 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. By the way, the room has a great new air conditioner, so it is a welcome oasis on a hot or humid summer day.

There is also usually some number of attendees who go across the street to McCormack's Bar for drinks and food and extended discussion after Cafe Philo, but not limited to the scheduled discussion topic.

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.

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

There is also a new web site for NYC Cafe

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


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