Philosophy/Mythology and Civilisation (PM&C) Group

The PM&C group will attempt to examine the thinking and stories that contribute to our civilisation. It is a huge subject, and we can but dip into this fascinating complex of myth, philosophy, and human development; building a critical understanding through some study and stimulating discussion. In the words of Socrates: ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’. Participants will be encouraged to contribute when they feel they can.

So far we have briefly considered: 'the meaning of life'?; 'what did Philosophy ever do for us?' 'the methods of Philosophical thinking'; the plausibility 'that Taxation is theft''; 'what is "The State'' and what obligations do ‘I’/we have to it and why?; what 'State/government have we got and what do we (everyone in the world!) want'?. So far this has been an introduction to Philosophy etc. with an initial focus on political philosophy. 

The aim is to consider all types of philosophy and associated mythology and their impact on civilisation. There is no 'plot or programme'; we decide the next topic at the end of each meeting.

It is said that in ancient Athens the followers of Plato gathered one day to ask themselves the following question: “What is a human being?” After a great deal of thought, they came up with the following answer: “a human being is a featherless biped”. Everybody seemed content with this definition until Diogenes the Cynic burst into the lecture hall with a live plucked chicken, shouting, “Behold! I present you with a human being”. After the commotion had died down, the philosophers reconvened and refined their definition. A human being, they said, is a featherless biped with broad nails.