At Philosophy Book Club we meet on monthly Fridays to discuss a key philosophical text that we read over several weeks or even months – philosophy is best digested slowly, and in company.
Our first book will be Derek Parfit’s groundbreaking On What Matters (2011), which the philosopher Peter Singer described as having ‘for the first time in decades, put those who reject objectivism in ethics on the defensive.’ Singer also helpfully noted that ‘ the core of the argument comes in the first 400 pages, which is not an insurmountable challenge for the intellectually curious – particularly given that Parfit, in the best tradition of English-language philosophy, always strives for lucidity, never using obscure words where simple ones will do.’ So we will stick to the first 400 pages in the book club.
Our reading of On What Matters will run over 5 months the dates are Friday 20th April and then 2nd Fridays: 11th May, 8th June, 13th July, 10th August.
This first book is a pilot run; the hope is that if there is enough interest we will keep the book club going with new reading chosen collectively.
Price is just £20 for 5 monthly meetings or free to Conway Hall Ethical Society members (enter code CHES at checkout).
Philosophy Book Club is run by the International School of Philosophy CIC. The International School of Philosophy CIC was founded in 2016 by Dr Sam Fremantle, who was also one of the founders of the London School of Philosophy. Its aim is to provide University standard online courses in philosophy, and to pioneer a ‘bespoke’ approach to teaching the subject, where students can choose for themselves what they need in the way of seminars, tutorials and other forms of online support. The school is a Community Interest Company. This is a special type of limited company that must observe restrictions on the disposal of its assets and profits to ensure that the company benefits the community, not simply its shareholders. Sam likes to think that his favourite political philosopher, John Stuart Mill, whose thought combined a championship of individual freedom over state control with a recognition of the individual’s responsibility to promote the general good, would approve.