Philosophers' Café

Page 1

1

philosophers’ Café FAL l c a f é s i n y o u r a r e a

Dare to think the unthinkable, imagine the impossible,

2009

discuss the improbable.

> September–December


North Vancouver Lynn Valley Public Library, p. 8

Philosophers’ Café Fall 2009

2

Philosophers’ Cafés are organized by Interdisciplinary Programs in Continuing Studies at Simon Fraser University, in cooperation with the dedicated, peripatetic moderators listed alongside each event in this brochure. We thank the many local cafés, restaurants, libraries and centres for hosting the program on their premises, as well as organizations and individuals who have helped to raise the level of public conversation in our community. Come early, stay late. Everyone welcome. Interdisciplinary Programs Continuing Studies Simon Fraser University Vancouver (Harbour Centre) 515 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 Dr. Yosef Wosk Program Director Margaret Brown Program Coordinator Diane Mar-Nicolle Program Assistant Phone 778-782-5215 Fax 778-782-5098 Email interdisciplinary-cs@sfu.ca Web www.philosopherscafe.net Sponsored by the Interdisiplinary Programs academic advisory committee.

West Vancouver West Vancouver Memorial Library, p. 7 North Vancouver La Zuppa! Restaurant, p. 7 West End Barclay Manor, p. 8 Kitsilano St. Mark’s Anglican Church, p. 10

Commercial Drive Café Kathmandu, p. 9

Kitsilano Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver, p. 9 False Creek False Creek Community Centre, p. 11

Yaletown Café Vancouver, p. 11

Oakridge Philosophers’ Fireside Café, p. 10

Richmond Richmond Public Library, p. 13

Burnaby La Fontana Caffe, p. 12


Simon Fraser University would like to acknowledge and thank London Drugs for its generous support. We would also like to thank all who contributed to the Philosophers’ Cafés in their communities through open dialogue, the sharing of knowledge and the program’s commitment to inclusiveness. Our gratitude goes to our newest Friends of the Philosophers’ Café — Epicurius Member Rudy Carlson —for his generous support. If you would like to make a donation to the Philosophers’ Café please call 778-782-5215 or email interdisciplinary-cs@sfu.ca

3 Port Coquitlam Living Room at the Gathering Place, p. 14

New Westminster St. Aidan’s Church, p. 12

Maple Ridge Meadowridge School, p. 14

New Westminster Heritage Grill, p. 13

Surrey City Blends Coffee, p. 15

Table of contents

White Rock White Rock Central Library, p. 15

News

4

Calendar

5

Café Listing

7

Profile

16

Network

17


Photos by Greg Ehlers

4

2009

FA L L

Café News Welcome to the Fall 2009 season of the Philosophers’ Café. In this brochure, you will find information on some of your favourite cafés as well as five new cafés that we know will be just as stimulating.

We welcome Dr. Charles Crawford who starts a new café at St. Aidan’s Church in New Westminster. Dr. Crawford is Professor Emeritus at SFU and has promised to serve up a variety of religious issues along with his special blend of espresso. Moderator Linda Christensen returns with a new café in Yaletown that will feature spiritualism as its fall theme. Once again, we are happy to collaborate with the International Readers and Writers Festival on Granville Island. Last year’s café was filled to the rafters, so plan on arriving early if you would like to attend. This year’s café will feature writer Brian Brett. Kitsilano moderator Dimitri de Morea, in partnership with the

Vancouver Francophone Cultural Centre, is adding a French language café to his repertoire. Bienvenue à tous les francophiles et francophones! We have finally been able to start a much-needed West End location ably led by former Capilano University professor John Dixon at the West End Community Centre’s Barclay Manor. Welcome also to a new café at the North Vancouver Lynn Valley library led by Capilano University professor Mark Battersby. The newly built library includes a Delaney’s Coffee Shop, which is sure to make your café experience all the more enjoyable. We thank Jim McArthur for four years of moderating at the Dogwood Pavillion in Coquitlam. We will miss his contribution but understand how busy retirement can be! We also regretfully announce the closing of the very prodigious

Victoria Café. Michael Picard has hosted over 500 cafés in the past 11 years — following up each week’s café with a thoughtful and insightful analysis of the topic. We wish him the very best as he moves on to new challenges as philosophy instructor at Douglas College. Thank you to Michael and the Solstice Café for bringing lively conversation, arousing debate and joyful conversation to our capital city. I encourage you to join me in taking part in a café. Each café is as unique as its moderator and its participants. Topics range from the esoteric to the controversial, while still others address the daily issues that confront us all. Whichever you choose, you will be surprised, stimulated, provoked, challenged and, quite possibly, wanting to come back for more. Diane Mar-Nicolle Program Assistant Interdisciplinary Programs, Continuing Studies, Simon Fraser University


Metro Vancouver Café Calendar SEPTember

Café Location

2

What do we mean by “morals”?

City Blends Coffee, Surrey

15

3

Does a common to all and unchanging “human nature” exist?

False Creek Community Centre

11

9

“I know my rights!” Perhaps, but do you know what rights are and where they come from?

White Rock Central Library

15

10

What is philosophy?

Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge

14

12

Is the Bible true and does it matter?

St. Aidan’s Church, New Westminster

12

14

Qu’est-ce qui fait que nous sommes humains?

Café Philo en Français, Kitsilano

9

16

Why should we rescue huge corporations?

La Zuppa!, North Vancouver

7

16

Human Nature — do we have one? If so, what is it?

Lynn Valley Public Library

8

16

Dealing with the recession

The Heritage Grill, New Westminster

13

17

Nobel prize-winning Russian poet and writer Boris Pasternak (in Russian) Richmond Public Library

13

18

With technology advancing significantly, what superpowers and abilities would you accept if they were available and offered?

Philosophers’ Fireside Café, Oakridge

10

20

The philosophy of garbage. What is garbage?

La Fontana Caffe, Burnaby

12

21

Material success and spiritual enlightenment — is there a connection?

Café Vancouver, Yaletown

11

21

The meaning of life

The Gathering Place, Port Coquitlam

14

24

“Love many, trust few but always paddle your own canoe.”

West Vancouver Memorial Library

7

24

Who owns the minds of our children?

Barclay Manor, West End

8

28

Reflections on the ethics of reproduction

Café Kathmandu, Commercial Drive

9

29

On being lost

St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Kitsilano

10

page

OCTOber

Café Location

1

What makes for a better and more liveable society — a social mosaic or a social melting pot?

False Creek Community Centre

11

5

Qu’est-ce qu’une vie examinée, et que cela nous apporte t-il?

Café Philo en Français, Kitsilano

9

7

What do people mean when they state: “I am spiritual but not religious?”

City Blends Coffee, Surrey

15

8

The idea of poverty as a blessing — hoax or wisdom?

Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge

14

14

Does evolution really explain the origin of species?

White Rock Central Library

15

15

Philosophy and practices in the balance between architecture and construction (in Russian)

Richmond Public Library

13

16

The Road to Copenhagen — Canada’s role as a responsible global citizen in Philosophers’ Fireside Café, Oakridge the era of climate change

17

North Korea — should the West play hardball or softball?

St. Aidan’s Church, New Westminster 12

18

Good vs. evil — myths of living

La Fontana Caffe, Burnaby

12

19

Spiritual intelligence — does it exist, what could it be and can you develop it?

Café Vancouver, Yaletown

11

19

Suicide

The Gathering Place, Port Coquitlam

14

21

Is morality all relative and subjective or are there moral truths?

Lynn Valley Public Library

8

21

Is trust a basis of morality?

La Zuppa!, North Vancouver

7

21

Gossip

The Heritage Grill, New Westminster 13

22

What would happen if marriage licences expired every 10 years, but could then be renewed?

West Vancouver Memorial Library

7

22

International Writers Festival café — Autobiographies: Telling it, like it was?

False Creek Community Centre

11

26

From Roman coliseum to the contemporary hockey stadium

Café Kathmandu, Commercial Drive

9

27

What is an examined life, and what does that offer us?

St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Kitsilano

10

29

Moral obligation — how far in the past and the future does it go?

Barclay Manor, West End

8

page

10

5


6

NOVEMBER

Café Location

2

Pourquoi souffrons nous, et que faire?

Café Philo en Français, Kitsilano

9

4

Society has legitimized the right to marry the same sex. Why not polygamy or the right to be united with my pet?

City Blends Coffee, Surrey

15

5

Militant atheism and militant theism

False Creek Community Centre

11

10 Reason and emotion — a troubled marriage?

White Rock Central Library

15

12 Slam philosophy — having some fun with philosophical inquiry

Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge

14

14 How legitimate is evangelism in a post-Christian society?

St. Aidan’s Church, New Westminster

12

16 Passion — what is it, can we find it, do we lose it and what difference does it make?

Café Vancouver, Yaletown

11

16 “If God is dead, everything is possible.”

The Gathering Place, Port Coquitlam

14

18 Is faith in God reasonable?

Lynn Valley Public Library

8

18 The circular relationship between meaning and knowing

La Zuppa!, North Vancouver

7

18 The role of Ottawa

The Heritage Grill, New Westminster

13

19 Open discussion (in Russian)

Richmond Public Library

13

20 With our ever-increasing rate of change, is much wisdom at risk of becoming obsolete or irrelevant?

Philosophers’ Fireside Café, Oakridge

10

22 Before I die I need to tell you ... If you could write five important things to your lover, family members or children, what would they be?

La Fontana Caffe, Burnaby

12

24 What do we control in life?

St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Kitsilano

10

26 What level of funded health care should be available for Canadians who are homeless, poor, or addicted?

West Vancouver Memorial Library

7

26 Why free speech?

Barclay Manor, West End

8

30 Does George Orwell matter?

Café Kathmandu, Commercial Drive

9

page

december

Café Location

2

What are the pros and cons of communal living?

City Blends Coffee, Surrey

15

3

Year-end round-up

False Creek Community Centre

11

7

Qu’est-ce que bien vivre?

Café Philo en Français, Kitsilano

9

9

Does democracy have a future?

White Rock Central Library

15

10 Does everyone really have the right to an opinion?

Meadowridge School, Maple Ridge

14

12 How can we forgive wrongs?

St. Aidan’s Church, New Westminster

12

13 What are the qualities of a successful person? On living in an egocentric society

La Fontana Caffe, Burnaby

12

16 Metaphysics — does it deal with important issues or does it just pose puzzles with no answers?

La Zuppa!, North Vancouver

7

16 Do humans have free will?

Lynn Valley Public Library

8

16 The Stoic life (in Russian)

The Heritage Grill, New Westminster

13

17 If this Christmas, extended family members all agreed not to purchase each other Christmas presents, how might that enhance or diminish their holiday celebrations?

West Vancouver Memorial Library

7

17 Who was Ilia Erenburg?

Richmond Public Library

13

17 In the beginning and at the end: Abortion and euthanasia

Barclay Manor, West End

8

18 Do we need political heroes?

Philosophers’ Fireside Café, Oakridge

10

21 “To speak is to be human”

The Gathering Place, Port Coquitlam

14

page


Cafés in your neighbourhood >

WEST vancouver

West Vancouver Memorial Library 10:30 am–12:30 pm, fourth Thursday of the month (except December) Elizabeth Musto Room, 1950 Marine Drive

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Co-sponsored by the West Vancouver Memorial Library. Treat yourself to a sweet or savory at Bojangles. Find a topic-relevant book and delve into it if the spirit moves you. In the Café, we have been known to occasionally surf the net for answers and ideas. Moderator: Randall MacKinnnon has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning. Since 1970 he has served as a board member, volunteer executive and development, executive and consulting staff for a diversity of community service organizations. September 24 It has been said, “Love many, trust few but always paddle your own canoe.” Do you love the saying, do you trust it, or do you think it doesn’t hold water?

>

North vancouver

La Zuppa! Restaurant

7 pm, third Wednesday of the month 1544 Lonsdale Avenue Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Moderator: Martin Hunt is an artist with a lifelong interest in science and philosophy. September 16 Why should we rescue huge corporations? October 21 Is trust a basis of morality? November 18 The circular relationship between meaning and knowing December 16 Metaphysics — does it deal with important issues or does it just pose puzzles with no answers?

October 22 What would happen if marriage licences expired every 10 years, but could then be renewed? November 26 What level of funded health care should be available for Canadians who are homeless, poor, or addicted? December 17 If this Christmas, extended family members all agreed not to purchase each other Christmas presents, how might that enhance or diminish their holiday celebrations?

visit www.philosopherscafe.net for up-to-date information and subscribe to our google calendar

7


>

North vancouver

NEW

WEST END

NEW

Lynn Valley Public Library

Barclay Manor

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Co-sponsored by the Lynn Valley Public Library. Coffee and fine edibles available at Delaney’s Coffee Shop located in this newly opened branch of the North Vancouver Library.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Co-sponsored by the West End Community Centre.

7 pm, third Wednesday of the month 1277 Lynn Valley Road. 604-984-0286 ext 8144

8

>

Moderator: Mark Battersby, PhD, has been teaching philosophy and critical thinking at Capilano University for over 30 years. He has also taught at UBC, SFU and Stanford universities. He is endlessly curious about humans and the world, and deeply committed to helping people think more reasonably about complex issues. September 16 Human nature — do we have one? If so, what is it? For thousands of years philosophers have made claims about human nature, from Aristotle’s “rational animal” to capitalism’s “essentially selfish being.” Nature vs. nurture was the often used dichotomy. Now evolutionary psychologists have entered the fray with scientific theories and data about humans. Are we any closer to solving this mystery? October 21 Is morality all relative and subjective or are there moral truths? As we look around the cosmopolitan world we live in, we see people apparently committed to dramatically different moral values. Are they wrong and we right? Or is it all relative to your culture, or perhaps just a matter of personal opinion? November 18 Is faith in God reasonable? Everyone has a view on whether there is a God. Many people find great comfort in this view while admitting the evidence is shaky. We question not whether there is a God, but whether a good case can be made for having faith in God. December 16 Do humans have free will? Neuroscientists seem to be making more and more progress in understand the workings of the brain. Can this investigation give us insight into whether humans have free will or not? If our mind is just the brain, where could our free will be? Come of your own free will and discuss this troubling issue.

7–8:30 pm, Thursdays 1447 Barclay Street (between Nicola & Broughton)

Moderator: John Dixon serves on the Board of Directors of the BC Civil Liberties Association and teaches philosophy at Capilano University. He has engaged himself in many of the most important questions of our day as a writer, scholar and public speaker. September 24 Who owns the minds of our children? Several years ago the Surrey School Board ordered three books positively depicting same-sex parented families, removed from elementary school libraries. Should school libraries be censored? If so, who should have the last word? Parents? Teachers? School Boards? Government? Judges? October 29 Moral obligation — how far in the past and the future does it go? Some British Columbians believe that we have an obligation to make amends for our mistreatment of aboriginal people in the past, and some believe that the “sins of the fathers” should stay with the fathers, period. Conversely, some argue that we have an obligation to leave a livable world to those who will come after us, while others suggest that it is enough for parents to individually concern themselves with the welfare of their offspring. How far do we go in the projection of our moral responsibilities? November 26 Why free speech? It is remarkable that we treasure free speech while neglecting so many good arguments against it. Does too much free speech conflict with our commitment to the equal rights of women, minorities, and other vulnerable groups? Can too much free speech offend our sensibilities? This classic “conflict of rights” problem results in solutions being hacked out almost daily in our courts and tribunals. What makes sense? December 17 In the beginning and at the end: Abortion and euthanasia A great teacher once made this observation to me: “Before any of us liberals — or conservatives — launches into their attack on the other side of the big ‘life’ questions, we should be required to give a comprehensive, cogent, and convincing presentation of the argument from the opposing side. Anybody who cannot or will not fulfill this condition should not be permitted to waste our time.” Completely impractical and silly, of course, but — let’s give it a try.


>

commercial drive

Café K athmandu

7:30 pm, last Monday of the month 2779 Commercial Drive (near 12th Ave). 604-879-9909 Come early to try the authentic Nepali food. Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Moderator: Zahid Makhdoom (see profile on page 16) September 28 Reflections on the ethics of reproduction Reflections on disparate phenomena such as octo-mom, teenaged fathers/mothers, foetal rights, religious morals, government intervention, infanticide, infant abandonment, sperm/egg and the marketing of wombs. October 26 From Roman coliseum to the contemporary hockey stadium — the political economy of public spectacles How far has humanity evolved from the blood-sports of Roman times to modern day public executions and whipping of convicts, violence in and commodification of sports, and the cut-throat race between competitors? And finally, what social impact will the forthcoming 2010 Olympics have on Vancouver? November 30 Does George Orwell matter? 1984 passed just like another year, or did it? How relevant are Orwell’s ideas on the uses/abuses of language, political economy of mass media, nature of citizenship, the role of the state and non-governmental organisations?

>

kitsilano

Café discussions are in French

Café Philo en Français au Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver 7–9 pm, first Monday of the month (except September) 1551 West 7th Avenue (one block from Granville)

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission free. Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Francophone Cultural Centre. Moderator: Dimitri de Morea is a philosopher, counsellor, and teacher. He counsels people in philosophy as a practice for living well. He also leads workshops, writes, and lectures frequently on the art of living. September 14 Qu’est-ce qui fait que nous sommes humains? Human nature is a frequently used concept, but what exactly is human nature? What is it that makes us human? And is this famous “human nature” fixed, or does it change? October 5 Qu’est-ce qu’une vie examinée, et que cela nous apporte t-il? This question, derived from one of Socrates’ thoughts, has influenced western civilization and philosophy, throughout the centuries. What is an examined life and how is it useful? And how do we examine our lives and to what end? November 2 Pourquoi souffrons nous, et que faire? No one can deny that life is filled with suffering, but why exactly do we suffer? Is suffering unavoidable? And can we equip ourselves and learn to face it better? December 7 Qu’est-ce que bien vivre? We are all engaged, like it or not, in this grand adventure we call Life. So it’s more than legitimate to ask ourselves: what constitutes living well? And what means can we employ to live better lives? And can philosophy help us?

Does evolution really explain the origin of species? Let’s talk ... Wednesday, October 14, 7 pm Philosophers’ Café @ White Rock Central Library, 15342 Buena Vista Drive (see page 15).

9


>

>

kitsilano

St. Mark’s Anglican Church

Philosophers’ Fireside Café

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5

Moderator: Dimitri de Morea is a philosopher, counsellor, and teacher. He counsels people in philosophy as a practice for living well. He also leads workshops, writes, and lectures frequently on the art of living.

The evenings are as warm as our fireside, as welcoming as our carpet, as comfortable as our new chairs and as interesting as the diverse, intelligent people we attract. There is a supportive, friendly atmosphere to encourage you to participate actively and share your unique and interesting thoughts and perspective — and head for home with some new and developed ideas.

7–9 pm, last Tuesday of the month 1805 Larch Street (and 2nd Avenue)

10

oakridge

How do we live well? How do we lead a good life? This is the on-going theme of the Philosophers’ Café in Kits. The atmosphere of the café is very open, friendly and explorative. Do join us! September 29 On being lost Life can be very confusing — full of detours, riddles, and mysteries. Life can be like a maze. Are we supposed to know where we are at, or is being lost actually part of the human condition? And what can we do exactly about being lost? October 27 What is an examined life, and what does that offer us? This question, derived from one of Socrates’ famous thoughts, has influenced western civilization and philosophy throughout the centuries. What is an examined life, and how is it useful? And how do we examine our lives, and to what end? November 24 What do we control in life? Many things make up a life: self, family, friends, city, society, work, love … As we go about forging a life for ourselves, the question seems legitimate: what is it that we control in life, and what is it that we do not control? And does knowing the difference help us live better lives?

7–9 pm, third Friday of the month Unitarian Centre, 949 West 49th Avenue (at Oak Street)

Moderator: Randall MacKinnnon has a Masters in Social Policy and Planning degree. Since 1970 he has served as a board member, volunteer executive and development, executive and consulting staff for a diversity of community service organizations. September 18 With technology advancing significantly, what superpowers and abilities would you accept if they were available and offered? Are there any powers that you or others should decline? October 16 The road to Copenhagen — Canada’s role as a responsible global citizen in the era of climate change The upcoming Copenhagen talks will determine the future of the Kyoto Protocol. We as Canadians have a unique position as the home of the Tar Sands, the “Gateway” to China, and the neighbour to USA. Will we enable the climate crisis or live up to our reputation as responsible global citizens? Guest Ben West is a film-maker and activist. As the Healthy Communities Campaigner for the Wilderness Committee, Ben coordinates campaigns related to land use and transportation planning, protection of agricultural land and climate change policy. November 20 With our ever-increasing rate of change, is much wisdom at risk of becoming obsolete or irrelevant? Are elders’ outlooks and perspectives as necessary as they were in previous times? December 18 Do we need political heroes? How should they serve us? Are some appointed or anointed, only to leave us disappointed?

Photo by Diane Mar-Nicolle


>

false creek

False Creek Community Centre 7 pm, first Thursday of the month 1318 Cartwright Street, Granville Island

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Co-sponsored by the False Creek Community Centre Moderator: Roman Onufrijchuk received his PhD in Communication from SFU, where he teaches in Communication as well as Canadian Studies. He is a university research associate with the Centre for Policy Research in Science and Technology. Previously, Roman was director of Art and Design Programming, Continuing Studies, SFU; Chair of the Board of Directors, Pacific Cinematheque; and, most recently, the Director of Television Programming at The Knowledge Network. September 3 Does a common to all and unchanging “human nature” exist? Or, are we born a “tabula rasa,” or “blank slate,” and shaped solely by our social world and relations? October 1 What makes for a better and more liveable society — a social mosaic or a social melting pot? What, if any, are the alternatives? October 22 International Writers Festival café—Autobiographies: Telling it, like it was? Brian Brett is an organic farmer, a novelist, poet, journalist, columnist, teacher and former chair of Canada’s Writer’s Union. His biographical writings reveal the struggle of a young man with a rare endocrine disorder. We explore the idea of autobiographical writing — its appeal, purpose and the degree it is or ought to be driven by truth. Brett’s latest book is entitled Trauma Farm, A Rebel History of Rural Life.

November 5 Militant atheism and militant theism Conviction and belief can foster and encourage militancy, as we learned in last year’s discussion of the divide between religion and atheism. This is a “round two” exploration of some of the thinking issues arising out of the current confrontation between believers who embrace a divine ethos, and those who are convinced that belief leads down a path injurious to humanity and the world. December 3 Year end round-up 2009 has been quite the year — between Swine Flu and war in the Swat Valley, a worldwide financial nose-dive, Obama’s election and ballots in BC and Vancouver, violence on Vancouver streets and the final stages of prep for the Olympics — and all the rest. Which of these will shape our lives and thinking in 2010?

>

YaleTown

NEW

Café Vancouver

7 pm, third Monday of the month 883 Hamilton (at Smythe). 604-568-446 Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Come and enjoy some delicious Turkish cuisine and organic coffees and teas. Moderator: Linda Christensen, PhD, has taught in the area of comparative religion at UBC, Douglas College and other institutions for 20 years. September 21 Material success and spiritual enlightenment — is there a connection? October 19 Spiritual Intelligence — does it exist, what could it be and can you develop it? November16 Passion — what is it, can we find it, do we lose it and what difference does it make?

Going to the Philosophers’ Café is to see a topic come to life in all the different dimensions that I do not think of on my own. Contrasting opinion and perspectives provide the kind of stimulating conversation that is hard to find in normal social conversation. It’s OK to have an opposing opinion with a complete stranger at a café! We all know that we are there to discuss ideas and we anticipate a variety of opinions, so diversity is not only expected, but welcomed. — Oliver H.

11


>

burnaby

new westminster

NEW

La Fontana Caffe

St. Aidan’s Church

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission by donation. Refreshments available for purchase. For information email crawford@sfu.ca.

11 am–12:30 pm, Sundays #101–3701 E. Hastings Street (at Boundary)

12

>

Moderator: Kathy Matak operates Baker Street Agency, a private investigative firm and Katlen Resources Inc, a business development company which has twenty years experience in private and public policing, training, program development and business management. She has instructed in the fields of legal studies, report writing, surveillance, and professional sales at various local schools and colleges. September 20 The philosophy of garbage. What is garbage? What is truly recyclable? Can we reduce waste to one bag per family? October 18 Good vs. evil — myths of living. What makes one a good person and another evil? November 22 Before I die I need to tell you ... If you could write five important things to your lover, family members or children, what would they be? December 13 What are the qualities of a successful person? On living in an egocentric society

Ready for a New Chapter It’s your story—Create the future you want with SFU’s Writing and Publishing Program, the largest of its kind in Canada. Courses and certificate programs in: o Professional Writing o Business Communication o Editing o Publishing o Creative Writing / The Writer’s Studio o Technical Communication (online) THE WRITING AND PUBLISHING PROGRAM

778-782-5093 wpp@sfu.ca www.sfu.ca/wpp

7:30 pm, second Saturday of the month (except October) 1320 7th Ave. (and 14th Street)

Moderator: Charles Crawford, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, SFU is a hard core Darwinian, but he strongly objects to the use of evolutionary theory to harass Christian and other churches. He has written extensively on evolutionary psychology and human behaviour and is a winner of the Sterling Prize for Controversy. September 12 Is the Bible true and does it matter? Are there different ways that the Bible can be considered as true in a world of competing claims about religion? What difference might it make to believe and use the Bible in the midst of those claims? The Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Dean of Students at Vancouver School of Theology and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. October 17 North Korea — should the West play hardball or softball? To Westerners, North Korea seems like a mysterious place that poses a problem that must dealt with. But what is the best way of doing it? Guest speaker Rev. Glen Davis is the Director of Presbyterian Formation at Vancouver School of Theology and has visited North Korea several times. He speaks Korean and for many years was a missionary to Koreans living in Japan. November 14 How legitimate is evangelism in a post-Christian society? We live in a multicultural society. Must we constrain our teaching of religion and other subjects in the interests of maintaining this society? Guest Rev. Bruce McAndless-Davis is pastor of St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church in New Westminster. December 12 How can we forgive wrongs? Peter asked Jesus, “If another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” This doesn’t seem right for the kinds of sins we have a difficult time forgiving even once — child pornography, murder, abuse in families. Is it fair that the perpetrator gets absolved while the victim lives with the aftermath? “Seventy-seven times” is a lot of forgiveness for someone who continues to hurt you. Guest Kimiko Karpoff is a United Church Minister.


>

new westminster

The Heritage Grill

7 pm, third Wednesday of the month 447 Columbia Street (near Columbia SkyTrain station, opposite the Army & Navy Store). 604-759-0819 Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission by donation. Moderator: Mano Daniel received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Waterloo. He teaches in the Philosophy and Humanities Department at Douglas College. September 16 Dealing with the recession How effective are some of the prevalent practical tips that are supposed to help us deal and cope with these economic tough times? October 21 Gossip Is gossip always a bad thing or is there such a thing as good gossip? November 18 The role of Ottawa On the many meanings of Ottawa. December 16 The Stoic life Is the extirpation of the passions a condition for the good life?

>

richmond

Café discussions are in Russian

Russian-Language Cafés at Richmond Public Library

Философское кафе на русском языке 7 pm, third Thursday of the month 7700 Minoru Gate, second floor program room

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission free. Co-sponsored by the Richmond Public Library. Moderator: Dr. Will Tesler is a scientist with more than 30 years experience in the implementation of physics in fisheries science. September 17 Nobel prize-winning Russian poet and writer Boris Pasternak He is best known in the West as the author of the epic novel, Dr. Zhivago. However, in Russia he is arguably considered the finest Russian poet of the 20th Century. Guest speaker: Raissa Volkonitskaya. October 15 Philosophy and practices in the balance between architecture and construction Guest speaker: Alexander Elchinko, architect. November 19 Open discussion December 17 Who was Ilia Erenburg? Propagandist writer? Philosopher? Radical? Guest speaker: Polina Gladstein.

Learn with us!

Intellectually stimulating courses for older adults at SFU at Harbour Centre in downtown Vancouver. Call us for a free course guide.

13


>

port coquitlam

maple ridge

Living Room at the Gathering Place

Meadowridge School

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Co-sponsored by the Society for Community Development and the Gathering Place.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission by donation.

7 pm, third Monday of the month #1100–2253 Leigh Square Community Arts Village

14

>

Moderator: Graham Forst, who has a PhD in Philosophy, has taught at Capilano University, UBC, the City University of New York and Hofstra University in New York. As an English professor, he is a frequent contributor to academic journals on the subject of literary criticism. September 21 The meaning of life Our individual time here is brief — and so is the time of all humanity — we weren’t here in the past and won’t be here in the future. So, what is the meaning of it all? And what kind of answer would satisfy this question? October 19 Suicide “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” said Albert Camus. Is the desire to commit suicide “pathological”? If not, what prevents us from doing it? Fear of the unknown? The “habit” of living? Something instinctual? Fear of upsetting others? Avoiding suicide is asserting life. Why do we make this commitment to live?

7 pm, second Thursday of the month 12224 240th Street

Moderator: Hugh Burke is Headmaster of Meadowridge School and teaches literature and philosophy. He has taught at the elementary, high school and university level for 37 years and has a BA and MA from SFU. September 10 What is philosophy? An inquiry into the nature of the Philosophers’ Café. Guest moderator: Amabile Ranta. October 8 The idea of poverty as a blessing — hoax or wisdom? November 12 Slam philosophy — having some fun with philosophical inquiry Guest moderator: Mark Kryren. December 10 Does everyone really have the right to an opinion? Subjectivism and the road to error.

November 16 “If God is dead, everything is possible.” Dostoevsky, in this famous quotation, implies that there is a direct link between God-belief and morality. Are there any grounds for this conclusion? What about the opposite conclusion, that God-belief generates immoral behavior? December 21 “To speak is to be human.” Are humans defined by language? What is the difference between human language and the forms of communication shared by other species? What is the difference between denotative and connotative language?

Reprint courtesy of Graham Harrop, originally published in The Vancouver Sun, Wednesday, February 16, 2000.


>

>

surrey

City Blends Coffee

7 pm, first Wednesday of the month Central City Shopping Centre, lower level, by lower east entrance off King George Highway. 604-580-2489. Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5. Moderator: Terry Dingman holds a PhD in Philosophy and Literature and currently operates his own health food store in Surrey. September 2 What do we mean by “morals”? What compels the individual to follow them, especially when they are largely culturally relevant? October 7 What do people mean when they state: “I am spiritual but not religious”? Is there utility in spirituality vs religiosity? November 4 Society has legitimized the right to marry the same sex. Why not polygamy or the right to be united with my pet? December 2 What are the pros and cons of communal living?

white rock

White Rock Central Library

7 pm, second Wednesday of the month (except November) 2nd floor meeting room, 15342 Buena Vista Drive. 604-541-2201. Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission by donation. Moderator: Charles Marxer received his Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and has taught philosophy at Southern University, University of Nebraska, University of Toronto, Douglas College and Kwantlen University. September 9 “I know my rights!” Perhaps, but do you know what rights are and where they come from? In a time when aggrieved individuals and special interest groups are pushing for a dizzying array of legal rights, we seek clarity by returning to basic questions. October 14 Does evolution really explain the origin of species? We explore the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinism. November 10 Reason and emotion — a troubled marriage? We revisit one of the great debates of Western civilization: can we effectively harmonize thinking and feeling in the conduct of our lives? December 9 Does democracy have a future? The apparent success of some authoritarian societies and recent blunders by liberal democratic governments make this a timely question.

Why should we rescue huge corporations? Let’s talk ... Thursday, September 16, 7 pm

Philosophers’ Café @ La Zuppa! Restaurant (see page 7).

15


Profile of a Moderator by Diane Mar-Nicolle

16

It is arguably SFU’s most popular community program — garnering accolades throughout the academic world and devotees in every community it reaches. It is the Philosophers’ Café, founded and nurtured over the past ten years by Dr. Yosef Wosk, Director of Interdisciplinary Programs in Continuing Studies. This program, which has brought dialogue to the community and become a champion of free speech and open discussion, is exemplified by one of its most thoughtful and erudite moderators, Zahid Makhdoom. A Judicial Justice for the Province of BC, Zahid is the perfect embodiment of one who has born the brunt of living in an oppressive military regime yet manages to find time to give back to the country that offered him refuge. As a well-known writer and activist for social justice, Zahid found his native Pakistan increasingly intolerant of his views on the rule of law, democracy and secularism. Experiencing both imprisonment and torture, Zahid fled to Canada where he endeavors to this day to reciprocate the safety and security that was extended to him. Stating “citizenship necessitates civic engagement”, Zahid first found work advocating for the First Nations of Canada, he ran in the 1993 federal election and continued to seek social justice in a global context. While the judicial appointment is an exceptional honour, it requires that appointees relinquish their rights to engage in political activism. Wanting to continue his quest for nurturing and building a thoughtful society, Zahid found his answer in the Philosophers’ Café. “I was impressed by the program. It … reminded me of the very vibrant and powerful café culture in Pakistan, where writers and activists of all stripes engaged in important debates and discourses in a variety of cafés. After

coming to Canada I did miss that aspect of my life in Pakistan. I met with Dr. Yosef Wosk and developed a deep respect and love for him as a person and further respect for the Philosophers’ Café”. Zahid has been leading the café on Commercial Drive for the past two and a half years where it regularly attracts a large number of participants wanting to engage in discussions on philosophy, politics and science. Regulars and newcomers are personally greeted with a warm hug or a friendly welcome from the gracious and gregarious host. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual — a direct reflection of Zahid’s ability to put everyone at ease, whether they are outspoken or shy, politically similar or opposed, educated or not. Zahid engages the same techniques in his courtroom as he does at the café.

“It reminded me of the very vibrant and powerful café culture in Pakistan … ”

“As a judicial officer serving in a highvolume Court, I have a duty to impartially and independently adjudicate. I must actively listen. When someone is needlessly wasting Court time, I have a duty to protect the integrity of public resources while ensuring the dignity of the person involved is never compromised. As a moderator of the Philosophers’ Café, I also must actively listen, draw out the silent ones and respectfully ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to engage. … Above all, I must remain impartial and committed only to the free flow of ideas.” .

Zahid Makhdoom

Photo by Wilson Nam


Network Jewish Museum and Archives AT the Jewish Community Centre 7 pm, Wednesdays #300 – 950 West 41st Avenue

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission $5 October 21 Are arts and culture relevant in an economic recession? Guest moderator: Dr. Yosef Wosk. November 18 Has technology changed the face of history? Guest moderator: Peter Valbonesi. December 9 Tattoos: Body decoration or mutilation? Guest moderator: Laura Moodie.

Spiritual Emergence CafÉs

Lando Fine Art Gallery 7:30–9:30 pm, fourth Thursday of every month 2001 Maple St, Kerrisdale Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Psychic upheaval, spiritual emergence, psychotic break are frameworks that have been used in an attempt to understand a period of rapid psychological change. We feel that the framework chosen will have a lot to do with the eventual outcome. These cafés are a way of coming to understand such a phenomena from a spiritual perspective.

VANCOUVER INSTITUTE LECTURES

Lecture Hall No. 2 in the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, University of British Columbia The Vancouver Institute, a free public educational forum, has been in existence since 1916. For complete details on these highly regarded free lectures, visit www.vaninst.ca. September 19 Pandemics Speaker: Mr. Nigel Fisher, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada.

November 14 Topic: To be announced Speaker: Professor Bruce McNaughton, Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge November 21 To be announced November 28 — Cecil and Ida Green Lecture Topic: To be announced Speaker: Dr. Grant Gillett, Chair, Bioethics Centre, University of Otago Medical School, New Zealand.

September 26 Topic: To be announced Speaker: Dr. Nigel Lockyer, Director, TRIUMF, UBC.

HOPE CAFÉs

October 3 The Garden of Cosmic Speculation: Nature talking to nature Speaker: Dr. Charles Jencks, architectural theorist, landscape architect and designer, Dumfires, Scotland.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Co-sponsored by the Hope & District Arts Council. For more information, please email hopearts@ telus.net or call 604-869-3400.

October 17 To be announced October 24 — Cecil and Ida Green Lecture Why don’t we trust our food? Obesity and infection today? Speaker: Professor Sander Gilman Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Psychiatry, Emory University, Georgia. October 31 — St. John’s College Lecture Topic: To be announced Speaker: John de Chastelaine, Former Chief of the Defence Staff, Canadian Armed Forces. November 7 Topic: To be announced Speaker: Dr. Laura Brandon, Chief Curator of War Art, Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.

Blue Moose Coffeehouse 7 pm, third Thursday of the month 322 Wallace Street, Hope

September 17 Coincidence and intuition October 15 The roots of empathy November 19 First Nations: What do we know about our neighbours?

Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique is where everybody curious about science can meet. Over a drink you will learn about the latest ideas and issues in science and technology directly from the scientists. At these very informal events are group discussions, triggered by questions from the audience, the most important ingredient. Admission is free. Visit www.cafesci-van.com for meeting details.

17


Community Café on Mental Health and Wellness

Mission Cafés

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Free admission. Refreshments included. Co-sponsored by the Tri-Cities Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Group. Contact teresa_cafe@shaw.ca for more information.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. $5, includes refreshments.

Pinetree Community Centre 1–3 pm, fourth Saturday of the month 1260 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam

18

Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars

CAIS, the only independent scholars association in Canada, offers full university library access, collegial lectures and peer review as well as assistance with publishing, grants, research, mentoring and a scholar-inresidence opportunity. Incorporated nationally, the Academy is affiliated with independent scholars’ groups in the US, Australia and Europe. It is honoured to have Claude Levi-Strauss and John Ralston Saul as its two Distinguished Patrons. For more information, call 778-782-5215 or visit www.independentscholars.net.

Grand Forks Philosophers’ Café

Kocomo’s Coffee House 7361 Second Street, Grand Forks 6:45 pm, third Wednesday of the month. For a listing of current topics email gfphilosophers@gmail.com or vist their blog at gfphilosophers.blogspot.com Phone 250-443-CAFE(2233)

Lifetime Learning Centre at Cedarbrook Chateau at Kingsway Arms 7–9 pm, last Tuesday of the month 32331–7th Avenue, Mission

September 29 What is the importance of arts and culture in our small community? Moderator: Pam Alexis October 27 What does it mean to be socially sustainable? November 24 Can food shortages bring down civilization?

Coquitlam Civic League Philosophers’ Cafés held throughout the year are dedicated to enhancing the health and vitality of Coquitlam through increased civic engagement of its citizens. Everyone welcome. Admission $5. For meeting times and dates visit www.coquitlamcivicleague.ca

CIVITAS

Civitas is a contemporary political discussion group that meets from 4–6 pm in Room 2105, SFU Harbour Centre, on the first Thursday of the month (except September). No experience necessary, no charge and no pre-registration — just bring your inquiring mind! An informal discussion on a variety of current issues will be chosen and discussed in a moderated forum. Hosted by SFU’s Interdisciplinary Programs, Continuing Studies. Call 778-782-5215 for further information.

Talk’s Philosophers’ Cafés — Surrey 11:30 am, Thursdays ABC Country Restaurant, 2160 King George Highway. 604-531-2635 Stimulating discussions around a variety of controversial topics. Open to the public. Registration not required but admission will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis as space permits. Suggested minimum $2 donation for each café. www.kwantlen.ca/talk.html for complete details. Food and beverage orders from 11:30 am. Presentation and discussion from 11:45 am onwards. September 10 What is philosophy? Guest: Trevor Phillips. September 24 What effect is technology having on human evolution? Guest: Don Murray. October 8 What does ‘smarter’ mean? Is intelligence the new class system? Guest: Peter Ferris. October 22 What does freedom really mean? Guest: Dr. Melinda Hogan. November 12 Bridging generations: Is it important or relevant? Guest: Bev Roest. November 26 If you could expand your lifespan by 50 years, would you? Why? Guest: Dr. Catherine Anderson. December 10 Should we value everyone equally? Do we? Guest: Selma Swaab.

Fall meeting dates: September 10, October 1, November 5, December 3

visit www.philosopherscafe.net for detailed NETWORK information


SFU Interdisciplinary Programs Mailing List Return this form to: V6B 5K3

Interdisciplinary Programs, Continuing Studies Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Fax: 778-782-5098 Email info to: interdisciplinary-cs@sfu.ca

First Name

Last Name

Address

19

City

Province

Telephone

Email

Postal Code

Mailing list

❏ Please add me to the Philosophers’ Café brochure mailing list (must provide full mailing address) ❏ Please remove me from the Philosophers’ Café brochure mailing list

We invite you to become a Friend of the Philosophers’ Café. You will receive recognition in our semi-annual brochure and on our website, unless specified otherwise. Please make cheques payable to Simon Fraser University. A tax-deductible receipt will be sent. ❏ I wish to make a contribution of $25 to the Philosophers’ Café program. As an Epicurius Member, I will receive a specially designed Philosophers’ Café pin and free passes to two Philosophers’ Cafés of my choice.

❏ I wish to make a contribution of $100 to the Philosophers’ Café program . As a Plato Member, I will receive a specially designed Philosophers’ Café pin and an annual pass to all Philosophers’ Cafés within a one-year period.

❏ I wish to make a contribution of $50 to the Philosophers’ Café program. As an Aristotle Member, I will receive a specially designed Philosophers’ Café pin and free passes to four Philosophers’ Cafés of my choice.

❏ I wish to make a contribution of $500 to the Philosophers’ Café program . As a Socrates Lifetime Member, I will receive a specially designed Philosophers’ Café pin and a lifetime pass to all Philosophers’ Cafés. ❏ I wish to make a contribution of $_______ to the Philosophers’ Café program

Email lists To subscribe to our email lists, please send an email to maillist@sfu.ca with ‘subscribe philosopherscafe-info’ or ‘subscribe independentscholars-info’ in the subject heading. To unsubscribe from our email lists, please send an email to maillist@sfu.ca with ‘unsubscribe philosopherscafe-info’ or ‘unsubscribe independentscholars-info’ in the subject heading.

Collection of Personal Information The University collects your personal information under the authority of the University Act (RSBC 1996, c. 468, s. 27(4)(a)). The information is related directly to and needed by the University to administer and operate non-credit programs, workshops and courses. The information will be used to register you in the appropriate non-credit program, monitor your academic progress and send you information about University programs. It will also be used to issue certificates and diplomas for eligible students. If you have any questions or requests about the collection and use of this information please contact the Program Assistant, Interdisciplinary Programs, Continuing Studies, Simon Fraser University, Room 2300, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, 778-782-5215, interdisciplinary-cs@sfu.ca.


When Memoir and History Collide

Word on the Street — Conversations with Sam ... September 27 3–4 pm

Wednesday, October 7, 7 pm Vancouver Public Library, main branch, 350 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver. Level 3 meeting room.

Writing Talks Room, Vancouver Public Library, main branch 350 W. Georgia St. Vancouver.

Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Admission is free. Co-sponsored by the SFU Writing and Publishing Program and the Vancouver Public Library Everyone has a personal history, but our understanding of it can change as we learn more about the past. Have we lived the lives we think we have? To what extent are memoirs reliable history? To what extent do we need to be caught up in ‘truth’? Presenter: Eric Damer is the author of Discovery by Design and has co-authored: UBC: The First One Hundred Years (with Herbert Rosengarten) and No Ordinary Mike: Michael Smith, Nobel Laureate (with Caroline Astell). Moderator: Katherine McManus, Program Director, Writing and Publishing Program, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

Free. Everyone welcome. Registration not required. Join us for a vibrant debate with former Mayor Sam Sullivan. Sullivan, who was awarded the Order of Canada for his social activism, is one of the country’s leading visionaries. His controversial ideas and approaches have resulted in both praise and criticism during his many years in public office. Moderated by Dr. Yosef Wosk, Program Director, Interdisciplinay Programs, SFU. (pictured above)

Vancouver Public Library www.vpl.ca

visit www.philosopherscafe.net for up-to-date information and subscribe to our google calendar

Who owns the minds of our children? Let’s talk ... Thursday, September 24, 7 pm

Philosophers’ Café @ Barclay Manor (see page 8).

www.philosopherscafe.net 778-782-5215 Continuing Studies 515 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3