Plutarch's Table

March 29th Salon sold out

March 19, 2014
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Thanks everyone for booking your tickets early for the upcoming salon on Love and Monogamy with Ronnie de Sousa. As I read through professor de Sousa’s latest book, I see that this is going to be really interesting. I was a little worried that the topic of love might be hard to approach philosophically, just because we can all say so much about love that doesn’t even begin to approach a philosophical analysis. I also worried that the topic of monogamy might be too controversial – in the sense that when there are clear ‘for and against’ positions for which people have fairly passionate attachments, the discussion becomes polarized instead of investigatory. I find salons work best when the topic is both familiar and yet puzzling enough that we aren’t too attached to our instinctive views about it.

But after reading and getting an idea of what our speaker has to say on this issue, I see that his talk will force us to think very carefully about our preconceived notions, and will give us some perhaps unexpected perspectives from which to reconsider and explore these issues. And this is ideal – my purpose with these salons is precisely to take topics that really matter to us on a daily basis and explore them as deeply and as carefully as we can. So I am very much looking forward to this evening, and I can’t wait to see you all there.



Love and Therapy

February 3, 2014
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After a long, long hiatus, I am taking up the cause once again. The cause of making philosophy fun, accessible and relevant, that is. I am planning a salon for this coming March which promises to be very exciting. This time, I am not the only philosopher! I am very pleased to have secured a brilliant prof from the University of Toronto to speak on a topic about which he has just written a fascinating book. The topic, once again, will be Love, and details will be announced very soon.

I have also begun a new website related to my work as a philosophical therapist, so please check me out at the Centre For Philosophical Therapy. I hope to be posting my philosophical observations there on a regular basis. This site will just be for info on and summaries of salons that I will hold from time to time.

Valentine’s Day salon at Fat Cat Wine Bar February 14th

January 30, 2011
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Valentine’s Day Salons

January 24, 2011
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I will be posting information about our exciting Valentine’s Day salons in the next few days – check back soon!

November Salon Tickets

October 16, 2010
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Tickets are selling fast for our November 20th event.  The salon will be held in a private downtown Toronto home, with delicious appetizers and dinner by Victoria’s Kitchen (7-10pm).  Contact us to reserve a spot.


Happiness, while it may look different for each of us, is the one thing that we all seem to want.  But is the pursuit of a subjective emotional state really the best goal for a life?  Our culture’s current obsession with all things happy would seem to suggest that it is, but there is also good reason to believe that the pursuit of happiness may be fundamentally harmful, not to mention disappointing.  Join philosopher Joanna Polley for a discussion on just what happiness is and why we might want to explore its alternatives.

“A people who conceive life to be the pursuit of happiness must be chronically unhappy” – Marshall Sallins

Tickets are $50 and guests bring their own wine.

About author

My name is Joanna Polley. I am a writer and a philosopher experimenting with ways of practicing and teaching philosophy outside of the university environment. I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto and have taught for several years in the departments of philosophy and literary studies, and am currently exploring ways to bring philosophy out of the ivory tower and into the wider public sphere. My specific research interests have been in the history of philosophy, philosophy of language and culture and the philosophy of literature, but I am interested in any philosophy that helps illuminate contemporary problems and deepens our experience of being alive. You can also visit me at for information about my philosophical therapy services.