Memorial Centre, East Common, Gerrards Cross, Bucks, SL9 7AD
On Saturday 23 September 2017,
Five speakers present philosophical ideas somehow connected with Alice
in Wonderland and invite you to contribute to the debate. Please see the
full programme below.
The fee for the day including a 3-course themed lunch and interval
refreshments is £38 for Philosophy Society Members; £45 for non-members.
(Alcoholic drinks are not included in the price). This is a not for profit
event – any profits will be split between the charities Mind and GXCA.
There is plenty of free parking available on site. Wheel-chair
For those wishing to make a week-end of it, and require accommodation for
Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd , there is an arrangement at The Travelodge,
Beaconsfield Central Aylesbury End, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire HP9 1LW.
Please contact Fauzia Rahman at [email protected] for details.
There may also be a social get-together on the evening of Friday 22nd
For further details, please
contact Fauzia. If your browser has a PDF viewer, you will find the
booking form at the bottom of this page. Alterantively, you can get the
booking form by clicking on this link.Please
print it, fill it out and send it to the address given on the form.
There will also be a Poetry and Pints evening, 7:30pm onwards (£6 in
advance, or £8 payable on the door, to include a pint or glass of wine/soft
drink). Those interested in reading please contact Fauzia
Introduction by Fauzia Rahman
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it
means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'...
I will argue against the view of Humpty Dumpty and the 17th
century philosopher John Locke who says at the beginning of Chapter II of his
Essay Concerning Human Understanding ‘Words are sensible signs,
necessary for communication of ideas’. My thesis is that thoughts and ideas
cannot be prior to words which stand for their meaning, for without meaning
there would be no ideas.
Jenni is a philosophy lecturer with the Adult Education Department at
Swansea University teaching the part time degree and other accredited courses
in philosophy. She taught in the Philosophy department there until it was
closed down in 2006. Also a teacher with Asclepius Education and Therapy
Centre, she has a Master’s research degree in Philosophy and diplomas for
facilitating philosophy discussions with both adults and children. Her main
areas of interest are Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Psychology and
Ethics and Literature.
‘I am life-long supporter of open access education and is a firm
believer in learning for its own sake to satisfy a thirst for knowledge and
reasoning that is both enjoyable, rewarding and therapeutic rather than as a
means to an end.’
Kelley-Patterson: A Lacanian View of Reality through the Looking
I propose to look at Through the Looking Glass from a Lacanian point of
view. Lacan suggested that we make a fatal error when, in infancy, we mistake
the image of ourselves (in the mirror) for who we really are. By stepping
through the mirror, Alice enters another dimension. Is this world the same as
Lacan's 'The Real'? But this world exists outside of language and can’t easily
be described, if at all. But we could expect space, time and causality to be
confused. My talk would aim to explore this further.
Bernhard works as a psychiatrist with learning disabled and
autistic adults. He sees a lot of people who struggle to understand space and
time the way we do....but who is to say who actually has it right! He uses
singing and music in an attempt to create a sense of space.
‘Occasionally I feel I know what I'm doing.
Other interests include shamanism and psychedelia, through which I punctuate
what is otherwise a rather boring life.’
Six impossible things: Lewis Carroll in everyday life
We all live in a Wonderland which is often baffling and can appear
Nonsensical. We ask ourselves why certain events occur, or what we should do
when something unexpected happens.
We all use language to communicate and yet sometimes, despite our best
efforts, we are misunderstood. It is my contention that in these and many
other situations Lewis Carroll proffers support and comfort, though not
necessarily answers. I shall illustrate this belief using such statements as
‘it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place’, and ‘when I
use a word it means exactly what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less’,
Peggy Verrall has always loved Alice and other writings of Lewis
Carroll, and believes she owed him her place at St.
Anne’s in 1959, having studied his logic books instead of The Tudors, and then
quoted him in her general papers. Her history course included philosophy which
she much enjoyed, even, to her tutor’s alarm, becoming for a while a devoted
She has since become
many other people: teacher, examiner, counsellor, wife, mother, grandmother ,
researcher, lecturer… acquiring another degree in maths and various
certificates en route.
still hope to discover who I am before I “softly and suddenly vanish
Is faith ‘believing six impossible things before breakfast’?
Faith is often conflated with belief by being described as a
form of belief or the basis of belief. Atheists dismiss faith as belief
without good reasons and believers will argue that faith is belief going
beyond reason. I argue that both are mistaken in their characterisation of
faith. Faith is always logically based on preceding beliefs and so in a weak
sense is always rational. A key difference is that belief is involuntary while
faith is voluntary. This being so it makes no sense for religious believers to
condemn non-believers for their lack of faith as the belief on which faith is
predicated may be impossible for the non-believer.
Rob Wheeler graduated many years ago from the University of Kent in
philosophy and theology and since then has, at various times, been a social
worker, IT systems manager, software developer and FE lecturer. He is now
blissfully retired and living in Faversham, Kent, where he had been running a
pub philosophy group called 'The Stoa' for the past ten years and occasionally
officiating at weddings, baby namings and funerals as a Humanist
Reflections on Gigantic or
Tiny Alice in her Underground Adventures
Through the Looking Glass
This talk explores emerging and disappearing concepts as the phenomenal
world is experienced at different scales and in different dimensions and
orientations. Water is liquid within certain dimensions of temperature and
pressure, but not individual atoms of H2O; voting is impossible in the
one-dimensional world of solipsism; the whole surface of the Earth is never
visible within one augenblick; and Alice herself becomes a Kantian incongruent
counterpart when reflected in her looking-glass.
Iain Orr is a Sagittarian Scot, born – like
Robinson Crusoe and Judi Dench - in York, in a Fire Horse year (‘42 – aka The
Meaning of Life). He studied philosophy at St Andrews and Oxford, but then had
a career in the Diplomatic Service (much of it dealing with China). He is a
nissological vexillologist and an obsessive collector of quotations,
anthologies and A-Zs, Penguin books, poetry, and books, postcards and
cartographic stamps featuring maps of small islands.