Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Alliance Française de Manille is pleased to present Café Philo 2015 happening on April 1, 2015, Wednesday, 6:00 pm at the AFM Cine Club. Admission is free.

Thème de refléxion: La création artistique doit-elle avoir des limites?

Les interventions se feront en français et seront limitées à 5 min. par intervenant. Un modérateur sera chargé d’animer la séance.

Café philosophique or cafe-philo is a grassroots forum for philosophical discussion, founded by philosopher Marc Sautet in Paris, France, on December 13, 1992.

There were about 100 cafés-philo operating throughout France and some 150 cafés-philos internationally at the time of Sautet’s death in 1998.

Marc Sautet at Cafe des Phares (Paris, 1994).

The subjects discussed at the cafes had a range that varied from the Santa Claus myth to truth to beauty to sex to death. They posed such questions as What is a fact? and Is hope a violent thing? Sautet made the discussions seem fun and exciting. The concept was to bring people together in a public friendly forum where they could discuss ideas. A cafe tended to have this type of atmosphere where people were relaxed drinking coffee and carrying on conversations. This concept ultimately developed into Café philosophique that he founded.

Thousands of participants in philosophy cafes worldwide have adopted Sautet’s idea as a way to enhance their thinking. Ideas are thrown out with concern for accuracy and philosophical rigor. The concepts discussed were in the spirit of tolerance and openness. The idea of Sautet’s philosophy cafes have spread around the world. The concept that started in France and subsequently entered England, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Finland and eventually throughout Europe is now in Canada, South America, Greece, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and even the United States. Due to this success, the French president Jacques Chirac sent a founding member on a good will mission to Latin America to introduce the concept there.

The Café des Phares (Paris) — the first café philosophique in the world.

Sautet started the idea of philosophy cafes in the Place de la Bastille neighborhood of Paris at the Café des Phares on December 13, 1992. He would gather some friends at his café philos each Sunday at 11:00 am and opened up philosophical debates (conceptual fisticuffs) for some two hours. His philosophy was a return to the basic principles of reasoning intended for the general public, not aristocrats. The first meetings started with only a dozen or so people. Soon university students showed up, followed by eccentric citizens off the street, off-duty cab drivers, and idle wealthy women. This became a weekly event that grew in popularity to about 200 people at each meeting. Sautet returned philosophy to the general public in Café philosophique. In so doing, he was rejected by scholars as being unfaithful to the normal philosophy taught in higher education.

For inquiries about Café philosophique in Manila, go to

Alliance Française de Manille is located 209 Nicanor Garcia Street, Bel-Air II, Makati City. Tel. +63 2 895 7585.

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