Philosophy Society – May Meeting

We will be meeting the second Thursday, 13th, of May in a room yet to be confirmed at Park Campus. Please note that we will start at 6pm and end at 7.30pm. Instead of reading a text this month we will be watching one. The film is Code Unknown. If you are unable to source the film you can buy a used copy from amazon for a 5ver. Alternatively, I can post you my film once I’ve watched it. You may even be able to find it in Blockbusters or a local library.

Here is a description of the film:
Code Inconnu takes the unknown and transforms it into the familiar. Just as in reality the characters exist and their personal story lines remain unfinished. In life we exist without permanent structure and our lives are only completed by death. Michael Haneke is telling us that 117 minutes can never encompass an entire life.”

Let me know if you need some help finding the film. My email is:



Philosopher’s Football Match

A re-enactment of the Monty Python philosopher’s football match is taking place on Sunday May 9th at West Finchley, North London and will see the Greeks take on the Germans. The players will include many notable philosophers, comedians, ex-sports players and journalists, including AC Grayling (German manager), Graham Taylor (Greek manager), Julian Baggini, Tony Hawks, and Nigel Warburton (referree)… oh, and my less notable self (centre midfield for the Germans!).

It is the idea of the Philosophy Shop which aims to bring philosophy to school children and highlight the importance of philosophical and critical thinking.
For tickets and more information, please visit:

Philosophy for Children

Anna Saunders will give a talk on:

Philosophy for Children (P4C)

Wednesday 21st April at 4pm
All Welcome

PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN, or P4C for short, was the title Professor Matthew Lipman gave to his project of using the discipline of philosophy as a resource to help children become more intellectually energetic, curious, critical, creative and reasonable. He conceived the project in the late sixties when he was teaching philosophy at Columbia University, and, today, it is a worldwide educational movement. He decided to devote himself to making the resources of philosophy accessible to children through thoughtful dialogue stimulated by the sharing of literature. He was inspired by writers of dialogues such as Plato and Diderot (and by the Charlie Brown cartoons!) to create philosophical dialogues in which reasoning, questioning and conceptual exploration were revealed to be important in the lives of a group of pupils, friends and teachers. Now Philosophy for Children is practiced in more than thirty countries around the world using a wide variety of materials to instigate questioning and inquiry.

Though the materials vary, the basic model of the community of inquiry and the methods Lipman introduced have remained remarkably robust and popular with teachers and pupils alike.

Anna Saunders teaches Religious Studies at Bournside School in Cheltenham.

The talk will be of a general nature and so this should not only appeal to those interested in teaching Religious Studies/Philosophy in schools, but also for parents and for anyone interested in teaching more generally

Trouble in the Cordoba Mezquita

I read at that visiting Muslims were not allowed to pray in the Mezquita, now the Cathedral, in Cordoba – where we were just a few weeks ago.

The report has the Catholic church noting, as it is keen to in the leaflet you get on entry, the pre-Muslim religious use of the site – although that building was on much smaller scale than the huge Mosque that was to come.

The Bishop repeated the standard line, which is given every year when Muslims write and ask to be allowed to pray in the building: “The shared use of the cathedral by Catholics and Muslims would not contribute to the peaceful coexistence of the two beliefs”

RPE136 – Cordoba Trip 2010

This year’s Religion, Philosophy and Ethics module, Overseas Study Visit saw a lively group of students head out from a damp Gloucestershire to the Spanish sun…

This module (RPE136) is designed to offer students the opportunity to experience an extended visit in the company of other students to a city or area of historic significance in the study of Christianity and/or other religions. The essence of this full module is a five night and five day study tour of an historic location, such as Rome, Jerusalem or Turkey. For the past two years, our destination has been Cordoba.
After a more eventful journey than planned, we arrived at
Los Patios once more – for a busier year than last time. We began with our usual orientation tour, and the Museo Vivo de Al-Andalus / Torre de la Calahorra. The wireless-headphone tour ends on the roof, and with a view of the Roman Bridge and Mezquita. After this we headed off for the walk to the Archaeological Museum – with its Roman and other materials – maybe by next year the English-language labels will finally be in place… The day ended with a quiet drink in the Plaza Corredera.

This was the day when we met up with Imma (our tour guide from last year), who showed us round the Jewish Quarter (and the only remaining synagogue) , the Old Town and
Mezquita – with a commentary to contrast with the info you get from the Catholic Church leaflet that you are give on entry. In many ways, the Mezquita is the highlight of the trip – and at the end of the tour, students are left in the building to stay as long as they wish.

We spent the morning at the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba – which has a history of the site, as well as spectacular formal gardens.

The afternoon was spent wandering the Old Town and (in an addition to last year) at the Museum of Jewish life ( ).

Sunday was a day off, and the staff investigated the Madinat al-Zahra site – as a possible addition for next year. This ruined Islamic city has a new museum, which we checked out – and which is very hi-tech, but also gives a fantastic introduction to the region.

Students explored – one rented a bike (we ran into him at Madinat al-Zahra), some went walking, and others pottered about the Old Town (there are loads of museums in Cordoba – so lots to explore).

This was the day-trip to Seville. After an early walk, the Avant train sped us to Seville.

Following last year’s geographical challenges, we found our way with more ease – and headed to the astounding site of the Alcázares Reales de Sevilla – in which you could lose days (and indeed students, but most seem to have come back); and then there is – next door – the huge, towering Seville Cathedral, a gothic immensity almost totally obliterating traces of a mosque on the site.

Travel home… Down to Malaga by train this time – but all went smoothly – and we now just await the student assessments!

For info on last year’s 2009 trip see

Thanks to all the students who came for making it an exciting and memorable trip…