What is community philosophy?

Traditionally, modern philosophy is a subject that has been confined to the university. During the twentieth century, philosophy in the university environment – what we might call ‘academic philosophy’ – became increasingly specialised, leading to a proliferation of journals and books specifically written for the university market. Further, the study of philosophy at university remained the province of a few, typically young people fresh out of school with little or no experience of life beyond that.

However, over the past decade or so, there has been the rapid growth of philosophy outside the university environment. Philosophy can now found in pubs, cafes, restaurants, informal discussion groups, and so on. In general terms, this is what we now describe as ‘community philosophy’.

While this is an important development in taking philosophy out of the university, often this ‘philosophy’ is no more than a open discussion of a topic designated as philosophical, and there remains a wide gulf between formal, academic study and informal, generalised discussion.

Philosophy in Paradise offers a happy medium between these two positions by bringing short courses on philosophical subjects to the general community, but maintaining an academic framework for them.

Traditional philosophical topics such as an introduction to Greek philosophy, time, virtue, aesthetics, and political philosophy are presented in an informal, but structured environment. Less traditional philosophical subjects are also offered, such as futurism, spirituality, and practical wisdom.

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