I was recently involved in organising the Get Real Philosophical Discussion at QUAD arts centre in Derby on the 13th November 2013.
The aim of the discussion was to get as many people as possible, from as broad a section of the Derby community as possible, thinking philosophically and engaging with each other in philosophical discussion. I hoped the discussion would have the twin benefits of increasing interest in philosophy amongst Derbians and also bringing together people with differing opinions in a forum where ideas can be debated in an informal and friendly way.
Derby has a rich history of philosophical debate – Erasmus Darwin founded the Derby Philosophical Society here in the 18th century, one of many such salons at the time. That spirit was very much evident at the event, as over 30 philosophy enthusiasts attended to discuss the concept of truth in the wonderful setting of Quad’s gallery space. Two presentations set the tone for the debate, the first by myself on the Pragmatist view of truth and the second by Sean Broome looking at truth from a Semiotic viewpoint. After the presentations there was a general audience discussion on the issues raised and more. Questions such as ‘does science involve faith?’, ‘Is truth a democracy?’ and ‘what is the basis of moral truth claims?’ were discussed. Despite the size of the group, I think that everyone that wanted to got the chance to contribute, and I hope that everyone enjoyed themselves.
I will be back at QUAD in February or March to discuss how new scientific insights into the mind affect our ideas of free will and moral responsibility. Keep an eye on this blog for further information or follow me Twitter @garfordmoore