The Philosophy Café

this month's topic:



November 28, 2012
7:30 PM


Used Books Department
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

The Philosophy Café at Harvard Book Store is a monthly gathering meant for the informal, relaxed, philosophical discussion of topics of mutual interest to participants. No particular expertise is required to participate, only a desire to explore philosophy and its real-world applications. More information can be found at

The Philosophy Café is held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 in the Used Book department on the lower level of Harvard Book Store.

This month:


What are your ideals? 

How do they compare with other people’s ideals? 

What ideals do other people have that you don’t find so ideal? 

How would you arrange people on a spectrum, according to their favorite ideals? 

How would your spectrum be different from mine, or anyone else’s, and why?  Is there an ideal which conflicts with justice? 

How can an ideal be pushed too far?

The Wheel of Ideals ( tries to describe a general structure of the vast forest of ideals, which shows something about the relations, of affinity, and also of enmity, between people and groups of people. Is there a better way to arrange ideals? Is this structure generally right but wrong in some more specific ways, for example in where it places individual ideals? At least the wheel provides a hypothesis that might get a discussion going. Our understanding of ideals, and their relations, reveals as much about us as our favorite ideals themselves.

Used Books Department
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and the Adidas Store. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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