The philosophy group has been meeting now on a monthly basis for nearly fourteen years, but the last couple of years have been quite different. Covid shook us up. Since our format was simply a group of people (who became friends over the years) sitting in our sitting room (where else!), in close proximity with minimal ventilation, we couldn't continue as we were. We had covered many topics. On a rough estimate, 14 years at one meeting a month, subtracting 14 as we break each year for the Christmas/ New Year period, gives us 154 topics.
We decided to move to Zoom meetings, and thanks to Jim Norman's efforts as the Zoom Master, this worked tolerably well while the pandemic was at its height. Unfortunately Jim has had to move away from the Island, and since by now we were all triple vaccinated, we decided to move back to in-person meetings.
However I did not think the close proximity of us all in our sitting room was a good idea, so we now meet, due to the good offices of the Royal British Legion at the RBL. This gives us a large airy room and also has plenty of car parking space.
Covid has caused some changes to our group membership, one or two people didn't get on with Zoom, others had other commitments and decided to leave. This meant the group could open to new members (we had been full for quite a long time). It has been very pleasant to welcome some new faces, and we will see how the group develops as a result. Already one can see a shift (slight) away from political philosophy, and towards more non-material concepts like personal identity. The group started as a political philosophy group, but we decided to broaden or enquiry to include more social and psychological ideas, not to mention some desperate inquiries into modern physics. We even had a session on being 'Woke'.
To conclude, we are still meeting, we sit around and discuss, we select our topics democratically (Putin please note!) we are informal and, we hope, friendly, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to accommodate new members. Anybody who feels at all philosophical, and is prepared to listen to other people's views, is welcome to try us out.
This article appeared in the Spring 2022 newsletter.