Meeting number 9 on 14 May 2012.

The agenda was (as proposed by Masood): [1] What is the purpose of a philosophical discussion group (like this one)? [2] Why don't I drink alcohol? What is it that's wrong (morally or otherwise) with taking drugs?

People who attended: Dave, Douglas, Barry, Ben and Masood.


masood said...

A very small selection of the things that got said. ... The purpose of philosophical discussion groups (like this one) is to actually do philosophical stuff for yourself rather than just reading what philosophical stuff other people (ie famous dead academic philosophers) have done. And doing something for yourself is better than reading and learning about other people doing that thing even though those latter people might be better at it. In the same way in which it's better to enjoy go-karting for yourself than to watch a race of professional racing car drivers. But what does 'better' mean here? ... About alcohol. There are lots of different sorts of alcoholic drinks distinguished by different kinds of taste and flavour. This suggests that the motive for drinking alcoholic drinks is not just to obtain the intoxicant effects of the alcohol. And in fact some people do say that they drink alcoholic drinks only/mostly for the flavour of the drink rather than for the intoxicant effects. Are these people in denial? Because surely the flavour part of an alcoholic drink is a non-essential extraneous part of it. Saying that you drink alcoholic drinks only/mostly for the flavour would be like somebody saying that they go to watch movies at the cinema only/mostly for the popcorn.

the wandering philosopher said...

I think you overstate the importance of the alcohol (but then I would say this because I'm in denial)

you can enjoy the film without the popcorn

you can enjoy the popcorn without the film

but the primary aspect of the cinema experience is the film (good popcorn won't make up for a bad film).

equally you can enjoy the tastes of drinks without the effects of the alcohol

and you can enjoy the effects of the alcohol without the taste of the drinks

but the primary aspecy is the taste of the beer (good alcohol won't make up for bad beer).

...where my argument falls down is that people willing drink bad beer... but that's a factual point not a logical point.

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