Philosophy, Aesthetics & The Arts

Suitable for beginners & those with more experience & knowledge ( see attachment for background reading)

We meet on occasionally,,,NEW Venue & Date TBA .

The group consists of talks, meetings and debates from the intelligent layman's point of view. Meetings will remain easy-going, fun and informative. All people are invited….feel free to attend however much you know or don’t know

Last meeting: " Punk and Defining Art"

Philosophers have tried to define art many ways, I shall list some and invite suggestions for others. Plenty of activities we might now think of as Art, or artforms, were in existence before the word had its current meaning, is there really a common essence to poetry and music, sculpture and drama? How can philosophers define art to include activities retrospectively, and allow for future developments, especially when artists in the second half of the twentieth century tried to bend or break every definition offered. I think the punk movement offered an alternative approach, and certainly some ideas to discuss..

CURRENT HOST : Ben Basing ( our new group host) BA Philosophy (Open Univ ) & BSc (Open Univ ) MA in Aesthetics and Art Theory (Middlesex). Also ongoing study at Birkbeck and Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. He was was treasurer of the British Society of Aesthetics for ten years which focused his interest in the Arts, specifically visual arts and music from the twentieth century.
( Ben has a particular interest in Aristotle, Berkeley, Descartes, Heidegger, Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Plato, Spinoza & Wittgenstein )



PREVIOUS MEETINGS… we have discussed Plato, Descartes, Hume & Scepticism, Marx and Human Nature, Free Will and Determinism, Jung , Sufism & various Esoteric traditions.







Frances Quesnel (artist & group founder)
The History of Philosophy is the history of evolving human consciousness, so it's a fascinating study as consequently is also embedded in Political ideas , Literature , Religion & Science in some respects ; in fact all aspects of the mind.My interests are fairly eclectic ie how traditional Western & Eastern philosophies sometimes mirror each other & are reflected in other pursuits such as the Arts , Esoteric studies & leading edge Science.
My background is Arts but I have studied Philosophy & the Perennial Wisdom traditions for many years. Philosophy can be is a difficult subjects but I seem to be driven to get a handle on it as it appears to be in some aspects a bedrock of mature understanding of everything else !

Will Bouwman ( BA Hons Philosophy,Msc History & Philosophy of Science )

Cyril Abel (philosopher; MA - Birkbeck)
We look at the history of Western philosophy from the ancient Greeks ( pre-Socratic) , then Plato to the history of modern philosophy: from Descartes to the present day, via Hume, Locke, Berkeley, Kant, Existentialism & Logical Positivism .
We also take in some aspects of Mysticism & Theology to broaden our perspective. My interests in religions are mainly the eastern mystical traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufism, but also Judeo-Christian mysticism. In their relation to the West, I am very interested in the Jungian psychology and I am currently co-writing a research on Jung and mysticism.

Gery Donovan (enthusiast & amateur philosopher )