Tintern Philosophy Circle

Meetings are currently being held via Zoom

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The next meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 16th February at 7.30pm.
Topic: Iris Murdoch: A Very British Philosopher?
Speaker: Dr Vanessa Dodd

Novelist, essayist and moral philosopher, Iris Murdoch is often remembered for her decline into Alzheimer’s depicted in the 2001 film Iris. In this talk I hope to recover some of her standing as a moral philosopher and philosopher of art by exploring the key philosophies which dominate her thinking including Platonism, on which she builds her moral philosophy, and Existentialism, which she rejects as a worldview, damning it ‘an unfit philosophy for the 20th century’, despite her being instrumental in bringing it to Britain. I will argue that Murdoch, who taught philosophy at Oxford, was a 'very British philosopher', who forged a middle way between the British Empiricist tradition and the story-rich Continental philosophy, with special reference to her award winning novel The Sea, the Sea (1978) which platforms her philosophical ideas in story form.
Vanessa was formerly Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Creative Writing and Applied Drama at the University of South Wales where she drew on long professional involvement with the theatre, and a parallel interest in psychology, the philosophy of mind and philosophical ideas in literature. She has a first class BA Hons. degree in English and History, an MA in playwriting studies, and a recently awarded interdisciplinary PhD The Theatre of the Mind.

The Zoom link for this meeting is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85727035179?pwd=ZnF3TjJqQ1ZDcEJ1Vm10d2pQZ3JiZz09

Meeting on 16th March: John Clarke will speak on 'Extinction: the next big issue'. It has been around for some time of course, but with our sights set beyond the pandemic (assuming we recover from the latter) we can give it more philosophical attention

Tintern Philosophy Circle holds monthly meetings, open to all, on a variety of philosophical issues. Anything goes.

We meet in the Rose & Crown Pub, situated at the centre of Tintern on the A466 main road, at 7.30pm on the third Tuesday of every month, except August.


Philosophy Circle meetings are open to anyone interested in philosophy, and no prior knowledge of the subject is needed. We hold to no creed other than belief in the value of tolerant, friendly discussion about things that matter.

The Circle is run by Professor John Clarke with Vanessa Dodd, Maria Taylor and Steve Eddy. Monthly events are introduced by members of the circle, or by a guest speaker.

Our patron is Bertrand Russell (permission pending) who was born a couple of miles from Tintern, and who concluded his famous book The Problems of Philosophy, first published a hundred years ago, with the following words:
Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination, and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because. through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.

Our meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month (except August), starting at 7.30, at the Rose & Crown, Tintern, NP16 6SE, Tel: 01291 689254. Evening meals are served here.