Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cafe Philo in New York City this coming week, Thursday, 11/18: Do we depend a little too much on causality?

Cafe Philo in New York City will meet this coming week, on Thursday, November 18, 2010 with a discussion on the topic of " Do we depend a little too much on causality?" The topic was suggested by Bernard Roy. Do we try too hard to predict what will happen in the future? Do we really think we can explain what happened in the past? Do we honestly believe we understand why things are happening as they are? Are we being too demanding when we ask for explanations? Do we really need to know why things are happening? What if we didn't know why? Is a comprehension of causality a necessity? Maybe, or maybe not.

The suggested topics for the upcoming meeting and their votes (out of 11 attendees):

  1. Is thought eternal? (4)
  2. Do we depend a little too much on causality? (6, 7) *
  3. What is the relationship between freedom and necessity? (4)
  4. Charisma. (5)
  5. Optimism vs. Pessimism. (5)
  6. Is truth dead? (3)
  7. Does determinism entail predestination? (2)
  8. Would dueling be salutary in a democratic society? (6, 3)
  9. In what sense if any are people equal? (5)
  10. What is it with dog people? (6, 4)

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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