What Does The Philosophy Project Offer?
I can provide a variety of philosophical events from one-off facilitated discussions of a specific topic to ongoing drop-ins philosophy group. Sessions are standardly 1-2 hours long; I also offer half- or full-day workshops on request.
Most sessions have a similar format. The discussion is initiated by posing a couple of targeted questions to the participants. This is followed by a short facilitated group discussion of the questions, aimed at eliciting participants' initial responses and reasons. I then introduce some content: an argument from a particular philosopher, for instance, or a well-known thought experiment. This will be followed by further questions and discussion in response to the material.
These aren't philosophy lessons in the sense of teaching philosophical theories, arguments, or important figures. Instead, the aim is to get participants doing philosophy in conversation with each other: to express their ideas, to develop their reasons for holding those ideas, and to challenge each other gently in a safe and welcoming space.
What Are The Benefits?
I believe that philosophical discussions have a range of positive effects for participants. First, philosophy provides a space where their voice and their thoughts are taken seriously: everyone in the discussion circle is a peer whose ideas are of equal merit. Second, philosophy provides the tools to challenge what we normally take for granted. Participants can be empowered to critique and engage with a world which otherwise seems unyielding and opaque. Third, philosophy discussion groups simply provide a range of interesting, intellectually stimulating material; sometimes, philosophy is just fun!