Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cafe Philo in New York City in two weeks, Thursday, 2/10: Is Truth Dead?

Cafe Philo in New York City will meet in two weeks, on Thursday, February 10, 2011 for a discussion on the topic of "Is Truth Dead?" I suggested the topic. It has concerned me that a lot of people seem more interested in hearing a good story (so-called narrative) or passionate and inflammatory rhetoric than consider cold, boring facts and reason. Maybe truth isn't dead but it commonly needs to be extensively dressed up (or as the Brits say, "sexed up") or sugarcoated to get people to pay attention to it. Maybe an alternate phrasing of the topic could have been "Why is truth so unappealing (to most people?".

The suggested topics for the upcoming meeting and their votes (out of 8 attendees -- great considering the inclement weather):

  1. Revolution! (3)
  2. Is truth dead? (5) *
  3. What's up with dog people? (3)
  4. Do we need the Internet? (4)
  5. Reincarnation. (1)
  6. Cannibalism. (2)
  7. Are we what we eat? (4)
  8. What's so funny? (3)
  9. All we need is love or all we need is art? (3)
  10. Power of attraction. (3)
  11. Philosophical underpinnings of Harry Potter. (2)

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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