Posts in scepticism
Choose Your Own Myth, with John Gray

I managed to get out of bed to run a London Philosophy Club event last week, where the philosopher John Gray gave an interesting talk about his new book,The Silence of Animals. He seemed a very nice guy, who gave up his evening for free, and the audience (the biggest we've ever had at an LPC meeting) seemed on the whole to like his humility and humour, bar one lady who said 'if I'd written your book it would have been very different', and then left!

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'Show me the compassionate atheist communities'

Do you know any good poo and wee stories? This is the question that confronts me as I arrive at Windsor Hill Wood, an open-door community run by the writer Tobias Jones and his wife Francesca, in Somerset. They live there with their three children - Benedetta is eight, Grace is five, and Leo is three - and there are five beds for guests.

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An encounter with the Mountain King

Right at the end of my book, I talk about a strange experience I had on a mountain in Norway a decade ago. It was, you might say, a religious or mystical experience. I tucked it away at the end of the book for a very important reason: I wrote the book for theists and atheists, and I didn’t want to put off any atheists (at least, not until the very end).

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PoW: Mutual aid in public health: back to the 19th century?

There's a new spirit of self-help and mutual improvement blowing through public health policy. I first felt its breeze in Scotland's national mental health strategy, which was published in August, and which made much of its 'person-centred approach' to mental health in Scotland.

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The Skeptic movement

Skepticism is an interesting and vibrant movement that has arisen in the last 40 years, which is to some extent part of the grassroots philosophy landscape. Skeptics might baulk at that affiliation, as they often see themselves as pro-science and, on occasion, anti-philosophy. Nonetheless, philosophers have played an important role in helping modern Skepticism grow, and the Skeptic movement’s vibrancy offer useful lessons for other philosophy groups.

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Massimo Pigliucci on philosophy clubs and the Community of Reason

This week, I interviewed the philosopher and scientist Massimo Pigliucci as part of my research into philosophy clubs and the Skeptic movement. Massimo is a fascinating figure: he grew up in Italy, then moved to the University of Tennessee to become a professor in ecology and evolution, before moving to City University of New York to become a professor in philosophy.

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PoW: Philosophy on Second Life

Welcome to another PoW newsletter. At the moment I am deep in research for a project I am running at Queen Mary, University of London, looking at the history and contemporary rise of philosophy groups. The hope is it will build links between academic philosophy and 'street philosophy', and also encourage people to get involved with grassroots philosophy, by joining clubs or setting up their own.

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