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Welcome to the Philosophical Society's Web Site

The Philosophical Society is a community of enthusiastic amateur philosophers. Although it includes amongst its members academics and professionals from various fields of activity, as well as people who do hold academic qualifications in philosophy, the Society is not an academic research organisation. Its purpose is to advise and encourage anyone who has an interest in philosophy, and to help students who attend classes in philosophy organised by OUDCE (Oxford University Department for Continuing Education).

The Society was founded in 1973 by Dr Tony Chadwick, Staff Tutor in Philosophy at the Oxford University Department for External Studies, the predecessor of OUDCE. It currently has 359 members, a number of them from outside the UK, and is based at Rewley House, Oxford. The running of the Society is in the hands of a committee (elected annually by members at a General Meeting) which determines policy and advises the President. The current President is Marianne Talbot who has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. (Check out Marianne's two podcast, which are breaking records globally with iTunesU: "A Romp Through the History of Philosophy", and "The Nature of Arguments".)

Please do take a look at the many activities we engage in.

Recent Announcements

Last updated: Sunday, 29 June 2014.

  • Hilary term Student Prize winners are announced
    Please see the Student Prize page for the list of winners, links to their essays and judges' comments.
  • 2014-2015 weekend courses
    The events programme page now has full information on the next academic year weekend courses, as well as links to the OUDCE website for booking – just click on the course name.
  • Members' Weekend booking now open
    Booking is now open for the Members' Weekend on "The Nature of Thought" (20-21 September 2014). Those keen to secure a place on the Saturday are advised to apply early since we are limited to the spaces in the Sadler room. For the Saturday discussion session and Sunday, we have the lecture theatre available. Members who book too late for the Saturday talks may attend the discussion session at 5.30 and the dinner (paying only the cost of the dinner).
  • Additions to the MP3 Events Archive
    Some old cassette recordings of past events missing from our archives have been found by a Philsoc member. Thanks to the efforts of Bill Radcliffe, our Recordings Librerian, these have now been added to the MP3 archive:
    • 2002 The Philosophy of Frege Guy Longworth & Ian Rumfitt
    • 2003 The Nature of Rationality Marianne Talbot (only two of five lectures recovered)
    More such old recordings may be added in the future.
  • Next academic year's weekend courses
    The information has been updated (see the events programme page). Please note the time-table swap between "Philosophy in a Weekend" and "The Emergent Multiverse".
  • Dates and topics of the next academic year weekend courses
    Preliminary details of thw weekend courses for the academic year 2014/2015 are now available on the events programme page. More detail will be added as it becomes available.
  • Review 2014 submissions call
    Now that the 2013 Review has been finally mailed to members, it is time to think about the contents of this year's Review. Please see the Review page for a message from Patrick Butterly – our new editor.
  • Philsoc Away Day 2014
    This year's Away Day details have now been announced. Please see the event's own page for details.
  • Site's menu reorganised
    Regular visitors may notice that the separate "archive" menu entries have been amalgamated into a separate Archives one. If you cannot find your favourite archive section, that's where yuo need to look.