Here you can find questions that were not chosen.

2020

#July 4: “Will racism cease to exist?” An online conversation with a small number of participants. Eventually this lead us to the question “What is wisdom?” and “What does it mean to know yourself?”. So it was a great philosophical exploration that lead us to some more abstract and difficult ground!

#June 6: “Is the value of life the same for animals and humans?”

> References: Do Animals Have Feelings? (The Atlantic, March 2019)

#May 2: “What will change in us as a society when we come out of this pandemic?”

Our second online café. A long conversation with a lot of questions at the end.

> References:

  • Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (free online pdf)
  • Socrates (“Nobody willingly chooses to do evil”)
  • Philip Zimbardo’s Heroic Imagination Project (website)

#Apr. 4: “Governments all our over the world are taking advantage of the pandemic situation to push their political agendas, especially when it comes to (mass) surveillance. How much of our privacy should we collectively be willing to give up in exchange for presumed health and safety benefits?”

This philosophy café was a bit of a relief amidst the Covid-19-quarantine. We did it online through Jitsi Meet, which worked remarkably well.

> Reference: Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan


#Mar. 7: “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.” So why do people (try to) talk about things they cannot talk about?

> References:

  • Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus & Philosophical Investigations
  • Edwin Abott Abott, Flatland (Free online version.)

#Feb. 1: “Do the terms ‘masculine’ / ‘feminine’ still have a place in our lexicon?”

> References:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin, Left Hand of Darkness
  • Jared Diamond (for example his article ‘Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race’)

#Jan. 5: “Is freedom possible without responsibility (and without stress)?” / “Do universal ethics exist?”

> Referenced reading material:

  • Murray Rothbard (about the Celtic Society, e.g. For a New Liberty.)
  • Richard Schweder (about comparative anthropology and ethics)
  • John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
  • Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind
  • Edmond Awad et al., Universals and variations in moral decisions made in42 countries by 70,000 participants (research paper about universal ethics)

2019

#12 Dec. 7: “Should we allow Artificial (General) Intelligence to be created?” Something we’ve explored before, but we had some fresh perspectives such as the self driving car, camera’s with facial recognition, online privacy, etc… We were joined by two very young philosophers as well this time. 🙂

#11 Nov. 2: Instead of reading a fragment of Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for life, we decided to have a classical philosophy café. Question of the day: “Is empathy diminishing?” What is empathy? Can it diminish or grow, and how? What is the effect?

#10 Oct. 5: “How to live a good life?”: Is it possible to define what a good life is? Is it the same for everyone? Is a good life the same as a meaningful life?

#9 Sep. 7: a conversation about the limits of ethics (amongst other subjects)

#8 Aug. 3: “What is the nature of reality?”: Is there something as an absolute reality? Does time exist outside of us? Is there thinking without language? Is telepathy real?

> Referenced reading material:

  • Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
  • Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  • Nassim Haramein
  • Tom Campbell
  • Neil Goudar (?)
  • Carl Gustav Jung

#7 Jul. 6: “How does technology affect us?”, “Where is A.I. going?”, and also “How can meditation help us to relate to the world (and each other) in a better way?” (Or something similar…)

> Referenced reading material:

  • Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind
  • Aldous Huxley, Heaven and Hell
  • William Golding, Lord of the Flies

#6 Jun. 1: “How do we unite?” or “Is it possible to unite everybody?”


#5 May 4, 2019

#4 Apr. 6, 2019

#3 Mar. 2: brainstorm about the philosophy café. Loose conversation about the nature of structure (as opposed to chaos) and also about the question “What makes something a piece of art?”


#2 Feb. 2: ” Should government be allowed to build national identity?” 6 different nationalities present 🙂


#1 Jan. 5: “Should everyone be allowed to have children?”

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