Philosophers’ Café in Vancouver

411 Seniors Centre Society

704–333 Terminal Ave., Vancouver | 604-684-8171 | Map


False Creek Community Centre

1318 Cartwright St. (Granville Island), Vancouver | 604-257-8195 | Map

Co-sponsored by the False Creek Community Centre


Italian Cultural Centre Museum

3075 Slocan St., Vancouver | 604-430-3337 | Map


SFU Harbour Centre

SFU’s Harbour Centre, Room 1520, 515 W. Hastings St., Vancouver | 778-782-5800 | Map


Trout Lake Community Centre

Board Room, 3360 Victoria Dr., Vancouver | 604-257-6955 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Trout Lake Community Centre

  • Wed, 15 Jan 2020 7:00 PM
    What is self-awareness?
    Moderator: Jim Lyall
    'Know thyself' may or may not be good advice, but what is self-awareness? We claim to have a level of self-awareness, but maybe we're all assuming it means the same thing to one another when it doesn't.

  • Wed, 19 Feb 2020 7:00 PM
    Can recycling save the planet?
    Moderator: Jim Lyall
    Recycling is good but is it enough to stop resource extraction from polluting the commons? Are we using too many things that have limited or no recyclability?

  • Wed, 18 Mar 2020 7:00 PM
    Are all problems tax problems?
    Moderator: Jim Lyall
    If we, as a group, had enough money, would we live in a utopia? When tax is spent, does the money leave the economy or do we continue to spend it?

  • Wed, 15 Apr 2020 7:00 PM
    Education is so last century, should we stop it?
    Moderator: Jim Lyall
    Is education still fit for purpose when we can learn everything we need online? Does government-provided schooling need to be rethought to keep up with progress?


Vancouver Public Library (Britannia branch)

1661 Napier St., Vancouver | 604-665-2222 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library

  • Wed, 29 Jan 2020 7:00 PM
    Meaning in divination
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    Can divinatory practices such as the tarot or I Ching occasion knowledge? Can divination provide meaning to us even if the content does not necessarily correspond to physical reality.

  • Wed, 26 Feb 2020 7:00 PM
    Philosophy of time
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    What is the nature of time and what is our experience of it? Is there a tension between these two aspects?

  • Wed, 25 Mar 2020 7:00 PM
    Is our society in decline?
    Moderator: Alan Belk
    It’s easy to argue that society is getting better for other people and worse for ourselves, but any sort of correction seems to entail a fundamental redistribution of society’s benefits and disadvantages, possibly harming some to improve the lives of others. Is a just society for all possible? Is it desirable? How might we work towards a just society?

  • Wed, 29 Apr 2020 7:00 PM
    Rebelling against extinction
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    The organization Extinction Rebellion claims that at least 3.5 percent of a population must participate in such protests in order to cause lasting change. Can mass civil disobedience and non-violent protest help end the climate crisis?


Vancouver Public Library (Carnegie branch)

401 Main St., Vancouver | 604-665-3010 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library


Vancouver Public Library (Hastings branch)

2674 E Hastings St., Vancouver | 604-665-3959 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library


Vancouver Public Library (Joe Fortes branch)

870 Denman St., Vancouver | 604-665-3972 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library


Vancouver Public Library (Kitsilano branch*)

2425 MacDonald St., Vancouver | 604-665-3976 | Map
* Note: This venue is partially accessible. The meeting room is located in the basement, where there is an accessible washroom. Please see library staff for access to the elevator.

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library


Vancouver Public Library (Mount Pleasant branch)

1 Kingsway, Vancouver | 604-665-3962 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library

  • Wed, 08 Jan 2020 6:30 PM
    Drug decriminalization
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    Jagmeet Singh claimed that the NDP, if elected, would decriminalize all drugs. This has been done in Portugal. Is this an effective or ethical position to take?

  • Wed, 05 Feb 2020 6:30 PM
    Individuation and our true will
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    How can Jungian approaches help us to know ourselves better and live our lives with meaning and purpose? Do we have shadow aspects that would benefit us to integrate?

  • Wed, 04 Mar 2020 6:30 PM
    Conscious parenting
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    Is having children a narcissistic thing to do? Do parents project their ego onto their children? How often do children believe they are respected for who they are?

  • Wed, 01 Apr 2020 6:30 PM
    Reason, faith and gnosis
    Moderator: Mark Stewart
    What is the relationship between science, organized religion and esotericism? How have proponents of these ways of knowing defined themselves in opposition to each other throughout history?

  • Wed, 01 Apr 2020 6:30 PM
    “We live in the best of all possible worlds.” – Gottfried Leibniz
    Moderator: Bill Arnott
    German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz is one of the great contributors to logic, perhaps the most significant since Aristotle. Now, in a world that seems chaotic, dangerous, and threatened, do the words of Leibniz hold true? Why or why not?


Vancouver Public Library (Renfrew branch)

2969 East 22nd Ave., Vancouver | 604-257-8705 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library

  • Mon, 27 Jan 2020 6:30 PM
    The role of storytelling
    Moderator: Aman Saini
    Since the dawn of time, human beings have engaged in the process of communication across generations. What makes storytelling play a timeless role in human evolution?

  • Mon, 24 Feb 2020 6:30 PM
    Intergenerational challenge
    Moderator: Aman Saini
    Constructive or destructive, family communication has a significant and elementary impact on our development as human beings. How can we transform communication within families?

  • Mon, 30 Mar 2020 6:30 PM
    Multicultural and intercultural understanding
    Moderator: Aman Saini
    As Canada is increasingly becoming cosmopolitan, the need to understand its history, present and future is critical in order to unite our peoples from prevailing cultural problems. How do we do this? Where do we start?

  • Mon, 27 Apr 2020 6:30 PM
    Interpersonal relationships
    Moderator: Aman Saini
    We all have a sense of emotional self and identity thorough which we communicate, or mis-communicate, to the people around us. How can we better understand our thoughts and emotions?


Vancouver Public Library (South Hill branch) 

6076 Fraser St., Vancouver | 604-665-3965 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library

  • Thu, 16 Jan 2020 6:30 PM
    Enjoying the little things
    Moderator: Ben Mejilla
    Does being in a state of gratitude and feeling thankful about your life have its own rewards?

  • Thu, 20 Feb 2020 6:30 PM
    Difficult conversations
    Moderator: Ben Mejilla
    It's been said that there are only two things certain in life: Death and Taxes. We all know about taxes. How can discussions about death be beneficial to the individual and society at large?

  • Thu, 19 Mar 2020 6:30 PM
    The meaning of life
    Moderator: Ben Mejilla
    We all know that life is short. From a practical and pragmatic perspective, does life make sense? If so, how, and if not, why not?

  • Thu, 16 Apr 2020 6:30 PM
    Fate or fiction
    Moderator: Ben Mejilla
    ”Everything happens for a reason.” Is this truth or groundless fiction?


Vancouver Public Library (West Point Grey branch) 

4480 W 10th Ave., Vancouver | 604-665-3982 | Map

Co-sponsored by the Vancouver Public Library