Skye & Massimo's Philosophy Cafe: Should We Engage Politically?

Monday, March 5, 2018 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Elliott Library, Room 507
$5 Nonmembers

Being politically engaged is hard. It can be tiring, stressful, and heartbreaking. It’s also easy to find excuses not to be. We’re too busy. We have bills to pay. It’s too depressing. However, some philosophers suggest that since we’re all affected by politics, if we choose not to be involved in creating the conditions of our own lives this reduces us to what Simone de Beauvoir (photo) called “absurd vegetation.” She says pushing away the responsibility of shaping the world we live in is not just lazy, it’s a moral fault because it’s tantamount to rejecting existence. At this café, we will discuss the arguments for and against being politically engaged. Suggested reading: Simone de Beauvoir’s political philosophy resonates today, by Skye Cleary.

The Café is run by philosophers Skye Cleary ( and Massimo Pigliucci ( It is based on the principle of the Socratic dialogue. Every meeting has a simple theme (e.g., should we be afraid of death? What's the ethics of eating?), which is introduced by Skye and Massimo on the basis of short, accessible, suggested (but not mandatory!) readings. The rest of the meeting then features an open discussion among participants, facilitated by Skye and Massimo, aiming at sharpening our thinking about whatever subject matter is being examined.

For more information, visit the Cafe's Meetup page:

Meeting dates subject to change.