Issue 39

June 2011

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Group Updates Cont’d

Mahjong

We now have two groups running - one for those who have played before and another for beginners.

The experienced players meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month and the beginners meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays.  The experienced group is full but there are vacancies in the beginners' group.

All meetings take place at 2, Grayson House, Beech Grove, Harrogate, HG2 0ER (unless otherwise notified) which is the home of the Group Leader, Celia Hall and play begins at 2.00pm and finishes at 4.00pm or near to that time.

The more experienced players have now moved on from the basic game to Special Hands which takes more thinking time but makes the game more interesting.  When the beginners have more confidence in the basic game we will move to Special Hands as well.

For further information please contact

 

Celia Hall

Painting

Since the beginning of 2011, our projects have included still lives representing our hobbies (using small objects relating to photography, needlework, gardening, etc.), abstract landscapes, portraits in pastel or charcoal and animals (wild or tame).

On march 29th we visited York to sketch and photograph and we included a visit to the Hockney exhibit at the Art Gallery.

In early May, sixteen of us visited Scotland and enjoyed fabulous scenery and glorious weather!

Recently, when Apsley Grange (the Convent) was unavailable to us,  we worked outdoors  in Ripley, Skipton and Harrogate.

The group meets each Tuesday throughout the year.  If you are interested in drawing and painting, email   our Group Leader, for more information.

 

Esme Paterson

Peter Kearney

Philosophy

Since the last Stray News Philosophy report we have continued with our discussions based on Nigel Warburton’s book ‘The Basics’, during which the question of ‘free will’ arose. Do we possess free will, or are our actions pre determined, if so by whom? That led to a more interesting and original question, “Would we have evolved to our present state if we didn’t have free will?” My response is; that evolution is driven largely by mutation and competition, so it may very well be that the ability to make choices contributed to our evolution.

Our discussions have also covered ‘The Mind’, is it a separate entity to the physical body or an integral part? During that discussion the question was raised, “If as some believe, we have a soul, is that a part of the mind, or a separate entity, if so where does it reside?” All of the writings that I can recall would suggest that if we do have a soul it is a register of our personality and actions and as such not really involved in our thought processes, except possibly as the keeper of our conscience. However I cannot think of any indication of where it would reside, but as all references to it imply that whilst it can be damaged by the person it cannot be so by others and that it possesses immortality. Therefore I would presume that if there is such a thing then it must reside somewhere outside the physical body.

Our next and the last meeting of this academic year will be an ethical discussion led by John Wilby entitled ‘Which human rights are essential?’

In the next academic year the philosophy group will be studying the ideas of Thomas Hobbes, based on his major work of political philosophy ‘The Leviathan’, first published in 1651, followed by John Lock’s ‘Treatise of civil government’ published c1695. These are substantial works that will require our concentration.

We meet on the afternoon of the third Tuesday in the month, anyone wishing to join the group should contact  

 

David Broadley