The Meaning of Life with Prof. Joe Foweraker (2nd of 8 weekly sessions)

The Meaning of Life with Prof. Joe Foweraker (2nd of 8 weekly sessions)

Monday 15 April 2024
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre

Community Event

Book here now: Donate a fiver or book a free ticket – please pay what you can*

The Meaning of Life: How can it be known? And can the search for meaning lead to a life well lived?

A series of friendly, very informal weekly seminar/discussion groups on Mondays in April and May 2024 at 8pm upstairs in the Studio. Everyone is welcome – no need for any previous experience. Curious? Just come along, drop in and see what it’s like. You can come to any session, whether or not you’ve been to any of the previous ones.

Week 1: Mon 8 April: Chance: Chaos and Contingency
Week 2: Mon 15 April: Self and Change: Illusion versus Reality
Week 3: Mon 22 April: Morality, Religion, and Culture
Week 4: Mon 29 April: Vocation: Self-sacrifice and Struggle
Week 5: Mon 6 May: Self and Others: Love and Empathy
Week 6: Mon 13 May: Freedom: Self-Restraint and Constraint
Week 7: Mon 20 May: Hope, Optimism, and Experience
Week 8: Mon 27 May: Agency: Individual versus 
Universal Answers

Joe Foweraker is an Emeritus Fellow of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter. Over the course of his career, he has studied and taught literature, language, politics, and philosophy; and has worked at universities and research centres worldwide. Always open to a new challenge, he now invites you to share his thoughts on The Meaning of Life.

See Joe’s books and autobiographical note at: Joe Foweraker: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle;

see Joe’s CV here: Professor Joe Foweraker | Politics | University of Exeter.


Access: These sessions will take place in the Studio on the first floor. There’s no lift available – sorry!


The picture is La Clairvoyance by René Magritte which Joe particularly likes. In it, Magritte delivers a self-portrait of himself painting a bird. But, as with all of Magritte’s work, there is so much more going on. Not only is he painting a picture of a bird, he is using an unhatched egg as his point of reference. Magritte is painting more than what is right in front of him: he is painting the possibility, potential, the future. Hence the name of this painting: Clairvoyance. Magritte has painted himself painting his perception of the future. Confusing? A bit. Brilliant? Absolutely.
By infusing himself into this picture and entitling it “Clairvoyance”, Magritte is delivering a message about himself as the painter: he is clairvoyant, he conveys the future through his art. This painting is therefore as much about him as a painter as it is about the resulting artwork. Though some may perceive this piece as arrogant, Magritte is staking his claim and sharing his philosophy, much like many of his surrealist contemporaries did regularly (i.e.Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali). Magritte is bold enough to use his painting to engage in a dialogue with his viewers.
Text from:

Used with permission: Artepics / Alamy Stock Photo


See Access, Tickets & Finding Us for more about why there are three ticket prices, plus other useful info about coming to events at Ashburton Arts Centre: getting here, parking, loos, PA tickets, etc.