Pub event brings philosophy to the people

June 1, 2018

Philosophy for the masses: Geoffrey Power-King is one of the creators of Pub Philosophy at The Moon Cafe

A series of free Pub Philosophy events organised by Murdoch University students is encouraging discussions around some of life’s big questions over drinks and pizza.

Held every month at the Moon Café in Northbridge, the events aim to make philosophy accessible to the average person on the street and explores what it means to be human.

Organised by philosophy PhD students Kyle Gleadell and Geoffrey Power-King, postgraduate student Jen McShera, and School of Arts Adjunct Lecturer Dr Anita Williams, the ticketed events have so far proved popular, packing out the late night venue on three occasions.

Each event delves into a different topic, starting with a 45-minute lecture followed by a panel discussion, a Q&A session and drinks. Past topics have included "What is the difference between philosophical and scientific questioning?" and “Can Plato teach us something new in the digital age?”

Geoffrey Power-King said the events also aimed to dispel misconceptions about philosophy and philosophers being pretentious and elitist.

“Our goal is to raise questions rather than preach,” he said. “There are a lot of places where you can go to get preached to. We don’t use a lot of philosophical jargon – we just want to have discussion, a few drinks and cheap pizza,” Mr Power-King said.

Most people engage or ask philosophical questions in their day to day lives anyway. They most certainly think about what constitutes a ‘good’ life.

Mr Gleadell stressed the importance of face-to-face dialogue to discuss ideas and question contemporary issues, whether they’re in the social, cultural or political realm.

“It’s not about the solitary philosopher writing everything down in their study ruminating about the world. It’s a shared world with shared meaning, and these are discussions we can have with any one of our friends – you don’t need a university degree or full-rounded knowledge,” Mr Gleadell said.

Among the themes regularly discussed at the Pub Philosophy events includes a critique on the scientific approach to making sense of the world, and how social media can depersonify interactions.

The team behind Pub Philosophy can also provide advice on studying the subject at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Murdoch’s School of Arts.

Entry to Pub Philosophy is free but bookings are essential as spaces are limited and sell out quickly.

The next Pub Philosophy event takes place on Monday 25 June, from 6-8.30pm.

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Media contact: Sarah Thillagaratnam
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Comments (One response)

Alice June 5, 2018

This is a great idea. Philosophy can be a heavy topic for many of us but to hold it over drinks and pizza makes it more interesting and stimulating.

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