Our goal at the Pleasanton Socrates Cafe is to build a community that encourages people to think about their lives, ideas, and concerns. It provides a forum for doing so in a small discussion group(s) using a version of the Socratic Method. We start off each meeting gathering questions that have been on our minds. These questions range from "What is Truth?" to "Does democracy really exist?" to "What are the ramifications of pharmaceuticals on consciousness?" to "Is it ever okay to spy on each other?" There are no guidelines for good questions beyond the interests of the group. We use 'approval voting' to select the subject interesting to the most aprticipants. After that, we spend about two hours delving into the question -- not specifically trying to come up with the best answer, but rather trying to see it from as many different sides as we can, investigating its assumptions, getting beyond pat answers and appreciating the depth and complexity of all the issues we encounter. And that's pretty much it.
The meetings are open to everyone. There is no agenda, no predetermined answers to the questions. People generally leave with new things to think about and a growing sense of community. Please don't bring any axes to grind! Ideologues are discouraged. With respect to all belief systems, religion is rarely the subject.
The first Socrates Cafe was started about 20 years ago by Christopher Phillips. Look for his book 'Socrates Cafe' at your local library or Barnes and Noble. Check Google or click below to find information about other Socrates Cafes around the country. Rob Drew and Jay Galvin started this Socrates Cafe in Pleasanton, California, back in February, 2009. We welcome people and visitors from all over the Tri-Valley area, including Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, Sunol, and San Ramon.
We're a small group, everyone contributes!