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July 13, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Vic’s Bar
215 Little Collins Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000
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Contempt. Is the use of contempt bedevilling our civil discourse?

Dangerous Dinners

Hosted by:
Prof Ian Dunn AM

July 13, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


In an excellent Quarterly Essay “Uncivil Wars”, Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens argued that the use of contempt was corroding our civil society. Some have argued, along similar lines, that the use of “ Woke” has a similar effect. Instead of rebutting factually or commenting on a viewpoint expressed by another, it is easy to dismiss that viewpoint as woke (a word virtually unheard of a few years ago).

At this Dangerous Dinner  we will discuss these matters, without, hopefully, expressing contempt for another attendee or even resorting to woke in an attempt  to put another attendee down.

In a relaxed, intimate dinner party format, we draw on the diverse expertise of our members sharing their ideas and experiences on complex or controversial topics; to learn from others, challenge assumptions, spark new ideas or point the way for potential actions.

Dangerous because the topics may be difficult to discuss, ask the silent questions, challenge thinking, unpack pressing issues, test emerging trends. Safe because we respect others’ views, it is polite not offensive, under Chatham House rule and listening with the intent to learn.

Once a month, you will be able to join your fellow Melbourne Forum members for a robust discussion on a range of themes in dynamic company and over a light meal. The focus is on ‘food for thought’ with shared conversations and shared platters as part of the collegiality.

Our Member Forums are a wonderful way to spend more time getting to know others around the table. Melbourne Forum is often regarded as a community who comes together because they are keen to engage for a better civil society. As one member explained, they are “… as good a connection to the other members present as I have got from any Melbourne Forum event I have been to.”

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