How do you think of your future?

As inevitable?….already laid down though unknown to you….nothing you do can change it? No more alterable than your past.

As inevitable?…. though partly the result of your choices and decisions (but these after all are the products of a physical system – the brain – which is determined by prior events over which you had no control)?

As open? Your choices and decisions can alter it. These involve an element of free will….not determined by physical causes.

If the latter, haven’t you fallen into magical thinking….that somehow human beings have the ability to transcend the causal structure of the world….to tear a rip in the space-time continuum?

Given the results of modern neuroscience can the feeling that we could have acted otherwise than we did be more than an illusion?

Do we have to give up notions like moral responsibility as a consequence?

Or are we missing something?

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And for our first event of the Autumn term we have our Chair  – Paul Archer  


Here’s Pauls intro,

“Around the world, it is taxation that pays for pensions, healthcare, education and other hallmarks of a modern state and yet fundamental discussion about taxation policy is relatively unusual and poorly informed. 

I want to discuss the universal issues surrounding taxation policy in the context of the mechanics of the United Kingdom system of taxation and think about why taxation policy is so difficult.

We will look at the principle of progressivity, the academic debate about top marginal rates and the best taxation policy for economic growth as well as addressing the great challenge to taxation policy described by behavioural economists as ‘loss aversion’.”

expect close argument,  backed up with good solid data, followed by a very lively discussion.

To get us all in the mood  – here’s George Harrisons opinion – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtksJEj2Keg

see you all at the usual place – Friends Meeting House – Eastcott Hill – Swindon SN1 3JF 7:40 – 9:40pm

As part of our move into the 20th Century, we are moving this blog from

Gerry779.wordpress.com to    swindonphilosophicalsociety.wordpress.com  

Who do you think we should follow on our twitter feed – who will have some interesting links

tweet to @swindonphilsoc or comment here!

Annual Philosophy Party

The annual  Philosophy Party was held at our chair’s  – Paul Archer

Great food, great drinks, great books!

Thanks to Paul from everyone

Autumn 2015 Schedule

11 Sept                  The Joy of Tax                      Paul Archer

18 Sept Are Humans Driverless Cars? Freewill Revisited John Little

25 Sept    (see this space)

2 Oct Our Moral Duties to Refugees and Asylum Seekers Prof. Chris Bertram

9 Oct The Circle of Stupid: Ethics Beyond Belief Dr David Webster

16 Oct Mill on the Subjugation of Women Dr Andrew Pyle

23 Oct Wherefore Art Thou, Festival of Literature? Matt Holland

30 Oct Science without a Generalised Theory of Evolution Rahman Khatibi

6 Nov Rudyard Kipling & the Emotional Power of Buddhist Art Susie Paskins

13 Nov From Brain Structure to Behaviour Dr Alex DeSouza

20 Nov The Charity Business David Hillyard

27 Nov The Paris Climate Change Conference Gerry Hannon

4 Dec Sustainable Development: an Insufficient Survival Goal Dr Mark Everard

11 Dec The Politically Incorrect Science of Human Nature Steve Miller

18 Dec Desert Island Books Gary Loyden

The Philosophical Society meets on Fridays from 7.40 to 9.40 at the
Friends’ Meeting House, Eastcott Hill, Swindon SN1 3JF.
The usual format is an hour’s talk followed by discussion.
Everyone is welcome – just turn up.
There is a charge of £2.00 (students free) to cover expenses

For news & updates: Swindon Philosophy Blog at gerry779.wordpress.com
Join the mailing list: email parcher088@gmail.com
Now on Twitter: @swindonphilsoc
For more information:
Paul Archer (Chair): 01793 840115 parcher088@gmail.com
John Little (Treasurer): 01793 619687 littlejohnlittle@gmail.com