Do you enjoy deep, honest and respectful discussions of fundamental human questions? If yes, then you will love this new monthly event!
We ask questions and discuss ideas to stimulate critical thinking. We enrich ourselves with the perspectives of others, not to convince others about our own perspectives.
Our meetings are about our own philosophies of life and not necessarily what the great philosophers and academics have said or written. It is not a debating club or a platform for proselytizing. Instead, we emphasize questioning, open mindedness, sharing, and challenging our own assumptions while considering the views of others.
A Socrates Café meeting typically ends with participants leaving with many more questions than they had at the beginning.
WHAT TOPICS ARE DISCUSSED?
At the start of each meeting, the Facilitator invites participants to suggest topics. We then vote and choose that evening’s most popular topic for discussion. No academic training in philosophy is necessary; just enthusiasm for exchanging ideas and points-of-view.
A few examples of subjects chosen at past meetings:
- What is a successful life?
- What ideals, if any, are worth dying for?
- What is the best form of government?
- What makes you “you” despite physical and experiential changes over your lifetime?
- What is beauty, and how important is it?
- What are ethical pricing and greed?
- What is the “best” education?
- What is true friendship?
- What would the world be like if women were in charge?
WHO SHOULD JOIN?
Everyone is welcome! Our events include women and men from different cultural backgrounds, races, ages, native languages, careers, and educational levels. No formal philosophical training is necessary. The only requirements are: (1) a willingness to listen respectfully to what others have to say, even if you disagree… putting down others is absolutely not allowed; (2) at least minimal understanding of spoken English. Although no one is required to speak, sharing is encouraged within the supportive environment of the group.
Participants are typically people who have a hunger for deeper understanding of themselves and the world.
Initially the Facilitator will be Bob Enteen, an easy-going, friendly, and very supportive guy. Bob is a retired social scientist, health policy analyst, and medical journalist, and a former NPR host. He has started successful Socrates Cafés at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club, and in Amsterdam and Barcelona. Bob and his wife, Vicki (a former Mensan), moved to Walnut Creek in June after 11 years as expats.
Other participants are welcome to volunteer as facilitators at future meetings.
The maximum number of attendees will be 15, self-selected on a “first come, first in” basis. One guest per Mensan will be allowed. If more than 15 (including guests) apply, a waiting list will be created. Please see our events calendar for more information.
No reading or other preparation is necessary. Attendees are invited to bring snack food or a beverage to share. Those who would like to socialize for an hour or so after the meeting will be welcome.