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 18th December 2018, 7.30pm, Rose & Crown
Topic: Why give a damn? Philosophy of Philanthropy
Speaker: John Clark

An exploration of why people give money and support to help others and causes without material benefit to themselves. How have philosophers illuminated the subject from Plato and Aeschylus, to early religious philosophers, to George Herbert Mead, Adam Smith and contemporary thinkers? Is it just Western civilisations that support charities, or do other cultures too? How recent is the phenomenon? Indeed is it restricted to humans? And is it as "selfless" as it is often assumed to be?"

The "other John Clark" has worked all his career in international development, including Oxfam and other charities and inter-governmental agencies, particularly the World Bank (where he led its work with civil society) and the UN (where he worked in the Secretary General's office advising on UN relations with civil society) and has written 2 books about the voluntary organisation sector.

Complimentary mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the interval.

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