Skye & Massimo's Philosophy Cafe: On The Virtues of Loneliness

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

French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre once quipped that, “If you're lonely when you're alone, you're in bad company.” On the one hand, loneliness can be a blessing. Consider Henry David Thoreau (photo) – who went to the woods to live alone for 2 years, 2 months and 2 days – to live deeply and deliberately. Nevertheless, he still went home once a week for dinner or freshly baked cookies. There’s much to suggest that we are social beings and loneliness wreaks havoc on our health, but also having our lives too deeply entrenched with others can also bring its own set of issues. In this café, we’ll discuss the pains and pleasures of loneliness. Suggested reading: Only the lonely, by Cody Delistraty.

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.