Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cafe Philo in New York City in two weeks, Thursday, 10/7: Can higher education solve the problem of prejudice?

Cafe Philo in New York City will meet in two weeks, Thursday, October 7, 2010 with a discussion on the topic of "Can higher education solve the problem of prejudice?" The topic was suggested by Kasuyo. Note: I will not be there since I will be at a technical conference in Boston. Frank de Canio may be acting guest moderator.

The suggested topics for the upcoming meeting and their votes:

  1. Do we need dueling in a democratic society? (3)
  2. Why communism failed in Russia. (4)
  3. Can higher education solve the problem of prejudice? (9) *
  4. True or false: The examined life is not worth living. (7)
  5. Did William James kill Buridan's ass? (4)
  6. What do we respect in others? (6)
  7. Can a true philosopher be a capitalist? (6)
  8. The difference between quantitative and experiential knowledge. (6)
  9. Charisma. (6)
  10. Leader and leadership. (4)

Topics proposed from the previous session:

  1. Why is there something rather than nothing? (4, 4)
  2. What determines achievement? (3)
  3. Could we live well with borders? (4, 5) *
  4. Can a dictatorship do more for the good of a society than democracy? (2)
  5. Did William James kill Buridan's ass? (3)
  6. Would dueling have a salutary effect on society? (4, 2)
  7. Is today's democracy more of a plutocracy? (3)
  8. Are we learning violence from the media or are we violent by nature? (3)
  9. Is representative democracy viable? (2)
  10. If change is good. (3)

I have been acting as guest moderator lately. Bernard Roy has been attending as a participant.

Catch up with 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 Afghan Restaurant 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. A glass of red wine can be had for $6 (plus tax and tip.)

After winding down our discussion, we entertain and vote on proposals for the topic question for the next meeting.

There are also usually some attendees who go across the street to McCormack's Pub 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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