History, Philosophy and Politics forum in the Blue Mountains

For many years some people in the Blue Mountains including Peter Baldwin have organized programs of high quality lectures in history and philosophy. This is the 2018 program. This year the focus is moving to the great issue of our time – the threat to civilization posed by identity politics. Peter opened up the debate last year with a series of his own papers. These are on the new site that he has set up to support the program this year.

The point of this website is to create an environment where matters at the heart of current political and ideological controversies can be discussed and debated and strongly diverging viewpoints can be argued out in a civil and constructive manner.

We want to see opposing ideas juxtaposed. We want an online space where people make a serious effort to get to grips with views they may initially oppose: genuine engagement, not rancorous argument. The antithesis of a ‘safe space’ as understood in PC academia.

Some thoughts from the introduction to my website that indicate the imperative need for places to discuss ideas in addition to the universities.

We do not live by bread and technology alone because our lives gain meaning and purpose from the morals,  mythology and metaphysics of our non-material heritage.  We absorb these animating principles from our contacts with parents, teachers, preachers and peers, also from religion, art, literature, science, business, sport and politics.

This non-material heritage contains a mixture of good and bad ideas, and a society that loses the capacity to subject these myths and traditions to imaginative criticism is likely to die. Constant efforts are required to eliminate error and muddled thinking because the risk is ever-present that the bad will drive out the good. The task of imaginative criticism falls to all thinking people, although it has been institutionalised with certain organisations such as the universities and with occupational groups such as academics, including philosophers.

This process of institutionalisation has almost proved fatal because it seems that the institutions and groups who have the main responsibility for the heath and vigour of our thinking have in fact done much to mutilate and debilitate our heritage.

Anyone who is within striking distance of Blackheath in the Blue Mountains might consider making a day of it to take in some magnificent scenery, possibly a gourmet lunch and some intellectual sustenance in the lecture and discussion in the afternoon.

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4 Responses to History, Philosophy and Politics forum in the Blue Mountains

  1. Mak Siccar

    Sound excellent. Good luck with it. Wish I could be there.

  2. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Always nice to spend a weekend staying at the Hydro and here is an added incentive. . Will check the program out and look at whether we can make it.

  3. Iampeter

    This year the focus is moving to the great issue of our time – the threat to civilization posed by identity politics.

    Sorry Rafe, but YOU are an advocate of identity politics, as we see with issues like James Cook Uni, tech companies, Folau, etc. You also don’t seem to know what free speech is, advocate censorship without realizing it and generally take the left wing position on every issue, also without realizing it. I don’t know how else to say it, but from what I’ve seen you simply have zero grasp of any of these concepts.
    Same goes for CL, Kates and the overwhelming majority of posters at the Cat, who constantly lose their minds when you point out their mistakes and whose postings are no different in logic from that of the most ignorant leftist.

    Even on issues that you do take the correct, right-wing position, like climate alarmism, you don’t do so for the right reasons, so you end up doing more harm than good.

    Some thoughts from the introduction to my website that indicate the imperative need for places to discuss ideas in addition to the universities.

    We don’t need places to discuss ideas. That is a very secondary issue. The primary concern is figuring out what the RIGHT ideas actually are.

    As we see at the Cat time and time again, most posters are totally opposed to this.

  4. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Rafe, checked out the site. IRL forums peter out this year in July, all seems to move to the web debates then. Next IRL in the Blackheath Hall is not till March, and it’s difficult to plan that far ahead for weekends away, for us anyway. Let me know if this is incorrect, but that’s what I’ve gathered from the links.

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