Community Philosophy building Communities of Enquiry – not a neo-liberal initiative!

Graeme Tiffany sends word of three free pilot training courses for would-be Community Philosophy Facilitators in West Yorkshire, Manchester and Liverpool to be held across January 2013.

Graeme gives some personal background to this initiative here, ending by noting:

the generous support obtained from The Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to fund a Community Philosophy Facilitator Training Programme. Working with the Community Philosophy Action Group (CPAG) of SAPERE we’re all set to roll out these courses across the Liverpool – Manchester – Leeds axis of northern England. So, if all this appeals and you want to participate in something truly progressive why not get involved? We’re looking, particularly, but not exclusively, for those of a community activism and/or community development persuasion who want to try to integrate CP into their work / activities. Places are going fast, so get your applications in quick. Here then are the links:

CP Facilitator Training Course Invitation

CP Facilitator Training Course Application Form

To my shame I knew little about SAPERE,  the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education, which is committed to giving people access to the skills and dispositions that will help them generate their own sense of wisdom with others. We foster and cherish independence of thought as well as the willingness to share and build ideas communally.

This is hardly the stuff of neo-liberal instrumentalism. Although we best beware, the opportunists in the neo-liberal ranks a la CATALYST will rush to talk of community philosophers as the new entrepreneurs! And we know, I’m not joking.

A last quote from SAPERE :

Community Philosophy is a growing movement in which voluntary groups in civil society engage with philosophical thinking and action. It is currently practised by groups of older people through Age UK, through Philosophy in Pubs, the youth and community sectors, and housing associations. Community Philosophy is providing spaces, resources and expertise that enable local people to join, form and sustain self-determining, democratic thinking communities. These groups have already helped many individuals and communities develop their thinking skills and dispositions, deepen their own thinking and that of others, and explore thinking as a practical tool for engagement in community and cultural life. Community Philosophy brings people together, gives them a chance to access practical, transformational philosophy, develop a thoughtful, purposeful voice, and take pleasure in these purposeful, collaborative activities.

PHILOSOPHY IN PUBS – what a grand idea, reviving memories of the days of working class self-education with all its contradictions.


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