Aberdeen University Philosophy Society

About the Reading Group

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries" 
- Descartes

The Philosophy Society's Reading Group happens every fortnight, and runs well with the weekly discussions! We are here to talk about and rediscover some philosophical texts that you may not have otherwise stumbled upon. But we are more than a dusty library of old relics; current affairs and contemporary texts also hold offer philosophical issues, worthy of a discussion. And with a condiment of biscuits and tea, what better way to discover great new philosophies with a group of like-minded people!



In the last meeting, the Reading Group looked at DEATH.


Death: A few lines from Epicurus “The four-fold cure for anxiety: Don't fear the gods; Nor death; Goods are easy to obtain; Evils are easy to endure” (Just the four quotations will do but feel free to read all the quotations!)  in compliment to twocontroversial essays “On Suicide” and “On the Immortality of the Soul” by David Hume! 

Epicurus: http://www.epicurus.info/etexts/PD.html#1

Hume: http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/dbanach/suicide.htm 

In ‘On Suicide’ Hume argues that suicide should be a last resort with all other possible solutions taken into consideration.Epicurus called suicide foolish and that it be considered as a measure of very last resort.

What philosophical issues we want to consider: 

(1)     What is death, should we fear it?

(2)     What happens after death?

(3)     Is death in our own hands?

(4)     What rights do we have to take our own lives?



Previous Texts


Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex 



Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception

Ramsay, Universals and the Method of Analysis

Gettier, Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?, and Lewis, Elusive Knowledge 

Descartes, Treastise on Man 

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

Plato, The Republic, Book VII 

Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844

Thomas Nagel, Moral Luck

Kierkegaard, The Absolute Paradox: A Metaphysical Crotchet 

Schopenhauer, Genius and Virtue   


Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica: Treatise on Law 

G. Bergmann, Synthetic A Priori

David Palmeter, A note on the ethics of free trade

Steven D. Hales, The Problem of Intuition 

Samuel P. Huntington, Clash of Civilisations?

Plato, The Symposium

Gongsun Longzi, The White Horse Dialogue

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 



Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism

Thomas Nagel, What Is It Like To Be a Bat? 

Daniel Dennett, How To Protect Human Dignity From Science

Friedrick Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

David Lewis, Paradoxes of Time Travel