Faversham Stoa is a pub philosophy discussion group. We meet the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 to 9.30pm in the The Bull in Tanners Street. There's no charge for membership and everyone is welcome to drop in. Just bring your brain and some beer money!

Should transport be a truly public service?

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Andrew Birkin will be looking at the history of public transport in this country and asking why it has never wholly been a public service at any time and what would happen if we changed policy radically and made it one?

Whatever happened to the Welfare State?

Tuesday 19 December 2017

Helga Wood will be leading our discussion on the Welfare State and in particulae, the current state of the NHS. What were its founding principles and how far have we drifted from the original intention of the Welfare State? Can the original vision be recovered or is the whole idea out of date?

History—facts, stories, narratives and games

Tuesday 16 January 2018

In her book 'Denying the Holocaust' Deborah Lipstadt described the Holocaust denier David Irving as "a Hitler partisan wearing blinkers". He sued her in a high profile court case, which became the basis the 2016 cinema film 'Denial' of one of the few films based on a historical dispute.

In 1961 the historian EH Carr had written 'What is History?' a set of essays which became a key introductory text in universities for decades. Many saw Carr’s interpretation as promoting a relativistic view.

One of the key expert witnesses in the trial was historian Richard H Evan (played by John Sessions in the film). Three years earlier he had published 'In Defence of History', which took issue powerfully with the postmodernist form of relativism that had become far more influential since Carr’s day. Lipstadt had attacked such relativism as disarming us in the face of such forms of such revisionist attacks.

So what light does all this shed on Carr’s questions 'What is History', and 'what is a historical fact'?

All about the Stoa

What is the Stoa?

The Stoa is a philosophy discussion group which meets every month in the The Bull pub in Tanners Street, Faversham to talk about serious issues but without being too solemn about it. None of us are professional, academic philosophers and although it's "popular" philosophy we're interested it's never dumbed-down!

When do you meet?

We meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 — 9.30pm although many members continue informal discussion in the bar after the meeting finishes.

Where do you meet?

We meet in the back bar of The Bull pub in Tanners Street, Faversham, ME13 7JL. Directions...

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for membership but we do have a whip-round of £1 each just to cover the cost of the room.

What kinds of things do you discuss?

Browse through our Topics page to see what we've discussed at previous meetings.

What do you do?

Each meeting is led by a member or a visiting speaker and is generally based one or more articles we have all read (although it's not critical that you read the articles beforehand). Links to all the articles can be found on the Topics page and the dates of meetings can be found on the Schedule page (which includes a link back to the relevant reading).

Who can attend?

Everybody is welcome!

How can I get on your mailing list?

Drop us a line via the Contact form and you will be receive our monthly bulletin "News from the Stoa".

Why 'Stoa'?

In classical Greek architecture the stoa was the covered promenade attached to the marketplace which became the place where philosophers frequently met to dialogue and debate. In fact it was this habit of regularly meeting in the stoa that earned the 'Stoic' school their epithet: it simply meant "guys who hang out at the stoa and chew the fat!". I like to think that the title of our group suggests an open marketplace where ideas can be traded and critical thinking is our currency.

You might also like to compare the ancient Greek stoa with our marketplace at the centre of Faversham. There are some very close similarities and so that gives us another association with the title.

What is Marginalia?

Marginalia is a blog containing random notes, scribbles, comments, jottings and drolleries on a variety of philosophical topics, including those discussed at the Faversham Stoa. While the notes in the topics section of this site are intended to be fairly impartial, the ideas and polemics in Marginalia are unapologetically my own. You are welcome, indeed encouraged, to append your comments to the entries and start a conversation.


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