Students Staff

01 June 2009

Essex takes philosophy back to the people

Colchester Campus

The University of Essex’s Department of Philosophy aims to take philosophy back to its ancient Greek roots by holding public discussions in a Colchester town centre café.

The Philosophy Café, to be hosted at Loofer’s on Culver Street West, will give members of the public the chance to hear from world-renowned philosophers and discuss topics such as why we need love and the meaning of life.

Professor Béatrice Han-Pile, Head of the Department, explained: ‘Western philosophy began 2400 years ago in the streets of Athens, when Socrates started asking his fellow citizens about justice and the good life.

‘The aim of this project is to return philosophy to its roots by taking it back to the community so as to foster dialogue and a greater understanding of important issues about ourselves, the conduct of our lives, and our relations to others.

The five weekly sessions, which start on 11 June (6.30-8pm), will be led by members of staff from the Department and will include a brief presentation followed by an interactive discussion. Speakers include Professor Han-Pile, an expert on twentieth century continental philosophy, Dr David McNeill who studies ancient philosophy as well as German philosophy of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Mike Weston, an expert on the philosophy of literature and religion.

Attendance is free but please book your place be telephoning: 01206 872703 Further information is available online at:


Notes to editors
For further information, or to arrange an interview/picture, please contact the Communications Office, telephone: 01206 873529 or e-mail:

The dates and topics of the sessions are as follows:
11 June: Professor Béatrice Han-Pile – ‘The Care of the Self’
18 June: Dr Patrice Maniglier – ‘Why do we Need Love in our Lives?’
25 June: Mike Weston – ‘Religion and the Meaning of Life’
2 July: Dr David McNeill – ‘Being True’
9 July: Professor Wayne Martin – ‘Depression, Melancholy and Virtue’

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