1:18 p.m. February 24, 2022
1:55 p.m. February 24, 2022
After a 20-year hiatus, a pub philosopher has returned to London, this time to Hackney, to bring people together around life’s toughest and weirdest questions.
Doctor of Philosophy Bryn Williams will host open discussions on pub philosophy at the Hoxton Cabin in Kingsland Road on the first three Sunday evenings of each month.
Brethnal Green resident Bryn told the Gazette: “I always thought about doing Pub Philosophy again, but I didn’t think it would take me more than 20 years to get back on the mic.”
He began organizing inspiring encounters in 1997, when he was a postgraduate philosophy student at King’s College London.
In this pre-internet era, Bryn’s side job as associate editor of Philosophy Now magazine proved invaluable, as he was allowed to use his subscription list to publicize his events.
“I knew the pubs and I knew the philosophy,” he said.
“And I knew that this open discussion format would fit very well in one of the private rooms that were, mostly unused, in London pubs at the time.”
Bryn was surprised how quickly the “strange notion of philosophizing in a pub” captured people’s imaginations.
He added: “I was often asked to do radio news and interviews. The BBC Morning News appeared in one of our first meetings at the Glassblower in Carnaby Street to talk to me and to those who came to talk about ideas that evening.
“In the first few months, we were always oversubscribed.”
Bryn visited New Zealand for a month-long tour sponsored by Guinness.
But he hopes this time around he can establish a more “resilient and sustainable” event, which “acts as a local resource for anyone curious about the world we live in and our place in it”.
He says he loves his new community, adding: “A lot of things had to fall into place to make this dream come true.
“The guys at the very cool Hoxton Cabin have agreed to let me move into their event space, old friends have reappeared offering support and encouragement, and now the Philosophy Cabin is the new home of Pub Philosophy, its first in the 21st century. .”
All proceeds from Pub Philosophy ticket sales are donated to the local food bank’s First Love charity.
Find out more at pubphilosophy.uk