Exploring philosophy & building community together in Swansea



HELLO ALL! ~~~~ It seems a very long time since some of us last met in Verve in Uplands, Swansea to discuss philosophy. COVID was just wafting into the UK, and we know what happened then.


I am truly sorry that things have taken so long to reach some semblance of normality. But, I hope very much that it's "Better late than never"!


I would like to say "hello" to old friends; and "welcome" to those of you who have asked for information about joining in with us. You are ALL very welcome to come along and join in, or just listen, as we being to "get things going" once again in this "brave new (post-COVID) world."


As always has been the case -- I welcome YOUR help and support to set things in motion and keep them going. After all -- it's YOUR group, and I would like you to tell me what / where / how you want to do things according to your interests and needs.


To start off, then, it has been suggested that we have a social event to kick things off. I do apologize this is short notice and impromptu -- but, once again, the idea is it's better just to start somewhere, and here we are, doing just that. This is not a "formal meeting" -- it's a bit of a get-together to motivate everyone (and me myself in particular) to "pull fingers out" and get things going again.


SO ~~ A couple of us have decided to meet for a one-off event as follows (for a map of Sketty Cross and the surrounding area see below).



6 -- 7pm 

The Vivian Arms

104 Gower Rd





We are then moving across the road to have a curry

(still on SATURDAY 4 March) from 7pm ONWARDS

The Taj Mahal

Indian Restaurant and Takeaway

8 Dillwyn Rd




(We're booking for around 10 people just in case, but from recent experience, the great staff are happy to be very flexible.)


If you can come you are VERY welcome. We are an open, friendly, welcoming, and non-judgmental group. We can get to know one another (again), and discuss how we thing things should proceed. I hope we'll pool ideas and come to some conclusions about where / when to meet regularly from here on, and take that forward through 2023. 


One suggestion is to follow a "theme" (the idea of "Dystopias" for example) -- and that we watch films / read some literature to give us a stimulus for discussion. But I would be happy with ANYTHING that you'd like to engage with.


If you have any queries, feel free to give me an e-mail: philosophy.swansea@gmail.com


After Saturday 4 March, I'll email again with details of further regular activities. I'll also update the website with this information.


All the very best to you! I hope to see some of you at the weekend, and more of you in the future.


Patrick Jemmer (organizer). 

Hello and a Warm Welcome to our Website!

Why not come along to join with us in open discussion on a whole range of topics...? We always aim to meet in a public venue (usually serving food and drink) that is comfortable, welcoming, safe, and secure for all.


Dates / times / venues from March 2023 onwards are currently being arranged. At present it looks like we will be meeting on MONDAY evenings a couple of times a month.


We are not "professional philosophers," just group of like-minded people searching for philosophical stimulation. No philosophical knowledge or background is expected or required, just an enquiring mind, and an interest in exploring ideas in a safe and friendly environment where all can contribute, hopefully learn something, and have fun. Respect for others and their opinions is a fundamental requirement of the group as it encourages people to put forward their views without fear of ridicule or intimidation.


Patrick, our organizer, has taught History and Philosophy of science ("The Birth of Modern Physics") for Swansea University Department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE), as well as courses like "Introduction to Philosophy," "How Can We Know Anything?" and "Minds, Brains and Machines (an introduction to the philosophy of mind)." He's also run public-outreach courses for the general public through his business Study Help UK, such as "Patterns in Nature" and "The Particle Zoo." All these courses have taken place on a "read / discuss / explore / share" basis where everyone's ideas and input are considered interesting, valued and useful.


The topic for discussion is decided amongst the group-members at the end of the previous session, and everyone is very welcome to bring her or his own ideas, or just to listen and maybe take some new and different viewpoints away at the end.


This group is "facilitated" to let everyone have a say if they want. Our feedback tells us that all participants are enjoying, exploring, making friends and gaining from the occasions, whether through their contributions, or as observers and listeners.

In the past we have put on day-long "Philosophy Festivals" on "A Taste of the Continent," and "Philosophy in Swansea – Dylan [Thomas] and Ludwig [Wittgenstein]" as well as regular "pub philosophy" sessions, "reading groups," and "philosophy in film" screenings.


Some of these events have been held with the kind help and support of Swansea University; we have in the past met regularly at the bar of the Townhill campus of the University of Wales Trinity St David. We have also been welcomed in the Vivian Arms Sketty and Verve 37 in the Uplands.

We have spent time conducting a detailed overview of "ancient philosophy," using video snippets to explore, illustrate, and enhance our understanding of the fascinating ideas arising from the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.

More recent topics have included: "What does it mean to be happy?" / "Does evil exist?" / "Does tolerance have any limits?" / "Is it healthy to be well-adjusted in an absurd world?" / "Is it ever ethical for a state to deny immigration to an individual?" / "The 21st Century is the least civilized period in human history so far" / "Dorian Gray's unfettered indulgence led to his dissolution and ultimate demise: this should be a warning for all of us."


Although many of have been kept apart during the COVID pandemic, philosophy has not died in Swansea! We hope to be beginning a new "season" in the New Year 2023, on the theme of "Utopia / Dystopia." The idea is that we can use various works of literature (either as novels, books or films) -- for example, "The City and the City" / "Infinite Jest" / "The Handmaid's Tale" / "1985" / "A Scanner Darkly" / "A Clockwork Orange" / "Fahrenheit 451" / "Nineteen Eighty-four" / "Brave New World" / "The Trial" / "The Heads of Cerberus" / "The Time Machine" / "The Machine Stops" / "Erewhon" / "Gulliver's Travels" -- to stimulate discussion on how philosophical ideas can, and do, aid us (and hinder us) in creating our "life-worlds."

All are welcome: why not bring some friends?



Patrick (organizer).


Rydym yn archwilio athroniaeth ac yn adeiladu cymuned gyda'n gilydd yn Abertawe

Helo 'na, a Chroeso i'n Gwefan!

Rhai ohonom ni yn y grŵp sy'n siarad Cymraeg, gan gynnwys Patrick, y trefnydd, a wnaeth sefyll yr arholiad i Safon Uwch yn 2017. Rydym yn cofio taw traddodiad athronyddol cryf sydd wastad wedi bodoli yn Abertawe, y dymunwn ei ddathlu. Rydym yn gobeithio ein bod ni'n gallu rhannu'n diddordeb mewn syniadau symbylol yn amlach yn y dyfodol.

Croeso cynnes i bawb: efallai licech chi ddod gyda ffrindiau?



There are some of us in the group who speak Welsh, including Patrick, the organiser, who sat the A-Level exam in 2017. We remember that a strong philosophical tradition has always existed in Swansea, which is something we wish to celebrate. We hope we can share our interest in stimulating ideas more often in the future.


A warm welcome to all: maybe you'd like to come with some friends?