Tintern Philosophy Circle

Meetings are currently being held via Zoom

The next meeting is on Tuesday 17th May at 7.30 online.
Speaker: Prof. Simon Cottle
Topic: On Nature, Crisis and Hope

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Simon writes: We are all intimately involved in the world of nature; our lives depend on it. And yet, today, the world it seems is in peril because our relationship to nature is breaking down. This talk first briefly sets out some of the rapidly accumulating evidence that points to a ‘world-in-crisis’ and which underpins projections of probable ‘civilizational collapse,’ before exploring the possibilities of ‘hope’ and where and how this may still be found. The etymology of ‘apocalypse’ tells us that its original meaning does not simply refer to a cataclysmic event such as the end of the world, but also to a momentous uncovering, disclosure or revelation of some deeper truth. Philosophers, including Hegel, have sometimes remarked, ‘The owl of Minerva only takes flight at dusk.’ Perhaps there is something of this in the ‘enforced enlightenment’ of a world-in-crisis and today’s ‘civilizational community of fate’ (Beck 2009), and in the rise (or return) of ecological consciousness in a time of impending civilizational collapse? As well as thinking beyond ideas of the Anthropocene and Capitalocene to the Symbiocene, we consider the widespread ‘existential aversion’ or denial and disavowal of today’s planetary emergency in the world of journalism and, surprisingly, some parts of academia, before considering various formulations of hope amidst the dark telos of despair.

Simon Cottle is Professor Emeritus in the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, where he was formerly Deputy Head, and Head of School. Previously he held a Chair at Melbourne University where he was Head of the Media and Communications Program. Simon is the author and editor of 13 books and 150 articles/chapters, and is the Series Editor of the Global Crisis and Media series for Peter Lang. He is currently writing his next book Reporting Civilizational Collapse: A Wake-Up Call, and numerous articles on communications, the planetary emergency and ecological thought.

Ray Billington (1930-2012) founder ot the Tintern Philosophy Circle. As a tribute to Ray Billington on the tenth anniversary of his death, John Clarke and Bob Clarke will give talks on the 21st June and 19th July respectively on aspects of Ray's philosophy. More details later.

The Road Begins… An evening of music and poetry celebrating the Marian Way Pilgrimage with award winning poet Fiona Benson, local poets and internationally acclaimed cellist Kathryn Price, at St. Michael’s Church, Tintern Parva. At 6,00 pm Saturday May 14th. Entrance Fee: £10 at the door. All proceeds to the Autumn Vespers in Tintern Abbey.
About the Tintern Philosophy Circle

Tintern Philosophy Circle meets (in normal times) in the Rose & Crown Pub, situated at the centre of Tintern on the main road, at 7.30pm on the third Tuesday of every month, except August when we hold a garden party with talks on a special theme.

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 and Vanessa Dodd. Monthly events are introduced by members of the circle, or by a guest speaker.

Past topics have included: philosophy of art and music, justice and human rights, existentialism and freedom, philosophy and religion, Buddhism and Eastern philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy, postmodern philosophy, the nature of mind, eco-philosophy, science and truth.

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."
Contact name
John Clarke
01291 689636