Tintern Philosophy Circle

Monthly meetings, open to all, on a variety of philosophical issues. Anything goes.

The Tintern Philosophy Circle meets 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.


Events are open to anyone interested in philosophy, and no prior knowledge of philosophy 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.

Next meeting Tuesday 17th July, 7.30pm, Rose & Crown
Topic: Does illness have a meaning? 
Speaker: Judith Stares

Health raises a number of interesting philosophical questions connected with function, explanation, causation, the nature of evidence, the mind/body relation, realism versus anti-realism, holism versus reductionism, rationalism versus empiricism, theories of well-being and ethics. Evidence demonstrates that ill-health can have a purpose, and sometimes symptoms can be easier to manage than the existential problems they mask. Is it possible that in our search for ‘wellness’ we are approaching the subject in entirely the wrong way?  This talk will give examples of illness or disease in our own and other cultures, raising particular questions concerning the mind/body relationship. It will suggest that perhaps a new vocabulary is needed to describe disease and its effects.
Judith is a freelance journalist and editor of a national news agency. After a career which included time as a foreign correspondent in various world trouble-spots, she began to specialise in health and medicine, investigating illness and treatments in other cultures, including China, Russia and the USA. Philosophy has been a lifelong preoccupation, encouraged by extra-mural courses at Oxford and membership of several philosophical discussion groups. Exploring the power of the mind has informed much of her thoughts and writings.

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.
John Clarke
01291 680139