The Socrates Cafe

Has anyone read The Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips? If so, what are your thoughts?

Todd Altman

The internet connection where I am really sucks. Can you summarize it?

Yeah, I’ve read it. It’s ok, but I am planning on joining a Socrates Cafe in my area in the near future.:wink:

Hahaha, aparently they haven’t read their Greek philosophy or they would know that democracy is hardly ever reccomended.

Nope, I will not accept a philosohpers orginisation with such a obvious political agenda. If you want truth you do philosohpy, if you want democracy go storm the bastille or something.

I read it and enjoyed it a lot at the time, was very jazzed about the prospect of joining a Socrates café or starting one. I think it lost steam when I realized that the fast-moving edited scenarios portrayed in Chris’s book were not…quite…how it is, at least not always.

The actual two SCs I attended were slow, sophomoric and self-serving affairs. I came to the conclusion that I get more out of a one-on-one or small group, five people tops.

Going around the room and politely listening to 30 perspectives is like show-and-tell, there’s no action, no debate – it’s like a brainstorming session where everyone’s view is automatically endowed with merit, and you have to spend long minutes listening to a thought being finished or expressed by a person who is often talking merely to be heard or hear themselves.

Yes I believe you can learn something from everyone, and often from people less educated or with less bandwidth than me, but ultimately the intellectual payload comes from a more focused discourse when it comes to in-person verbal real-time philsophizing – that’s my feeling.

The group dynamic thing works much better here on this forum than in a coffee shop. For instance, you are not required to read this entire post because for most of you it’s probably not relevant anyway.

The cause is a noble one, so i think the book is worth reading. i believe in philosophy, and chris is a hero, the socrates cafe helps people, that’s for sure. i can’t imagine going to one for pleasure though. if anything i’d organize one to help others and give people a venue for thought were they have none, like a prison or something.