Welcome to The Philosopher’s Hat!

This is a Falmouth-based discussion group aimed at providing people with a space and time to don their Philosopher’s Hat and chat about any topic they fancy over a pint in the pub.
We meet two Mondays a month at The Boathouse from 7.30pm onwards. See our calendar for upcoming sessions.
Check our calendar for upcoming dates and topics. If you’d like to suggest a topic, email c.brand@exeter.ac.uk with “Philosopher’s Hat” as the subject.
See our ‘blog’ page for more info on each session.



Monday, 10th July 2017: “What does the discovery of gravitational waves mean for the Universe?” 7pm onwards

Monday, 17th July 2017: “What can we do about the knowledge inequality pandemic in the UK?” 7pm onwards

Monday, 31st July 2017: “How can we create a global state?” 7pm onwards

Monday 7th August 2017: “Will Climate Change make Earth too hot for humans?” 7pm onwards

Monday 21st August 2017: “Designing a global state to reduce the magnitude and extent of biodiversity loss” 7pm onwards

Monday 4th September 2017: Open Session! All welcome! 7pm Onwards

Monday 2nd October 2017: “Bacteria are masters of Tai Chi” 7pm onwards

Monday 16th October 2017: “Who should be given human rights?” 7pm onwards

Monday 30th October 2017: “What constitutes an ethical (trick or) ‘treat’?” (Halloween Special) 7pm onwards

Monday 6th November: SURPRISE EXPERIMENT….show up for the chance to win £500 and take part in University Research…. 7.30 onwards…

Monday 20th November: “What will AI/automation mean for society and the economy?” 7pm onwards

Monday 4th December: The notion of Free Will 7pm onwards

Monday February 5th 2018: “Ontological pluralism,” what does it mean and why should we care? 7pm onwards

Monday 19th February 2018: Topic TBC. 7pm onwards

Monday 19th March 2018: Free session, all welcome. 7pm onwards.

Tuesday 20th March 2018: BONUS SESSION. Talk on Consciousness, interconnectedness & Hope at Penryn Campus Exchange Lecture Theatre from 12.00-2.00pm, all welcome. Free.

Monday 9th April 2018: Is art just maths? 7pm onwards, all welcome.

Monday 23rd April 2018: Selected Vignettes in the History of Consciousness, & Why We Ought to Dispense With Such a Concept Altogether 7.30pm onwards, all welcome.

Monday 7th May 2018: Open session. Enjoy the sun! 

Monday 21st May 2018: “Some implications of ‘the adjacent possible’: neoteny, plasticity and the development of human society” 7pm onwards

Monday 4th June 2018: Plasticity and human society continued…. 7.30 onwards

Monday 16th July 2018: Moral reasoning: what happens when we apply rigorous logic to human values? 7.30 onwards

Monday 13th August 2018: Insights into pattern formation in many-body systems from 7.30 onwards

Monday 17th September 2018: The Ontology of Pattern: Information and Physics, Part 1. 7.30 onwards

Monday 15th October 2018: Effective altruism, wealth redistribution and caring capitalism. 7.30 onwards

Monday 29th October 2018: Experiments and observations that underpin quantum mechanics. 

Monday 19th November 2018: Can ITER (or nuclear fusion generally) save us from an energy crisis and runaway climate change? 7.30pm onwards

WEDNESDAY 5th December 2018: How is maths possible? Joint event with Cafe Sci @ The Poly, 7.45 onwards

Monday 4th February 2019: The perception of time. 7.30pm onwards @ The Boathouse

Monday 18th February 2019: An introduction to a new form of logic. 7.30pm onwards @ The Boathouse

Monday 11th March 2019: Meaning in art. 7.30pm onwards @ The Boathouse

Monday 18th March 2019: Stanley’s logis part II. 7.30 onwards @ The Boathouse

Monday 1st April 2019: April Fool’s Special: Let’s talk about Brexit. 7.30pm onwards @ The Boathouse

Monday 15th April 2019: The philosophy of veganism: should any sentient being ever be used as a means to an end? 7.30pm @ The Boathouse

Monday 3rd June 2019: What is a number? 7.30pm @ The Boathouse

Monday 15th July 2019: What is money? 7.30pm @ The Boathouse

Monday 22nd July 2019: Should we let Elon Musk take us to Mars? 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 12th August 2019: Climate change: are we too late? 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 2nd September 2019: Why democracy is irrational. 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 16th September 2019: Why is there something rather than nothing? Solipsism. 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 21st October 2019: Should we fill the gap of religion with eco-worship? 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 4th November 2019: What is a biological agent? 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 11th November 2019: What is a biological agent, part II. 7.30pm @The Boathouse

Monday 2nd December 2019: Should there be a new tactical voting app? 7.30pm @ The Boathouse

Monday 20th January 2020: What’s wrong with the Big Bang Theory? 7.30pm @ The Boathouse

Monday 10th February 2020: What is a biological agent, part III. 7.30ish @The Boathouse

Monday 24th February 2020: Language, recursion and consciousness. 7.30ish @ The Boathouse



Language, recursion and consciousness

Great discussion, here are some useful links: The section of podcast the discussion was based on: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UtkhMPmSSZYsX-YcCycOgeO-9IL7-jrFjmjeIMUbTcc/edit  The full podcast: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2020/01/06/78-daniel-dennett-on-minds-patterns-and-the-scientific-image/  (Late) review of consciousness explained: https://www.daniellowengrub.com/blog/2020/02/08/consciousness-explained … Read more “Language, recursion and consciousness”


Feel free to join the Facebook group for more info: http://www.facebook.com/groups/philosophershat

To suggest a topic please email c.brand@exeter.ac.uk or s.lamba@exeter.ac.uk (Lotty Brand & Shakti Lamba) or post it on the Facebook page.

Want more science in your life? Come along to Falmouth’s Cafe Scientifique! https://falmouthcafescientifique.weebly.com/

There is now a Cornwall branch of the BSA: https://www.britishscienceassociation.org/ Check it out for all the latest sciency goodness going on in Cornwall!

Any other suggestions or questions just ask either Shakti: http://shaktilamba.com/  OR Lotty: https://twitter.com/lottybrand22