Our Mission

Who We Are

Heart Tree | The Branches, Arteries & Blood Flow of Merlin MCC


We’re a Helena-based public philosophy non-profit dedicated to enriching lives and strengthening the community & environment through philosophy.

What We Believe

We believe very deeply in the value and relevance of philosophy and its ability to improve our everyday lives.  We also believe that it is (and should be) a resource for everyone — regardless of background or age — and that it is not meant to be closed away in some book, but to be lived.

Philosophy as a Way of Life

The idea that philosophy has a practical side — be that therapeutic, behavioral, and other practical manifestations — is not new. Many ancient traditions conceived of philosophy in these terms (i.e., as a way of life), as well as a practice concerned with knowledge and understanding. For many, if not most, of these thinkers, the art of thinking​ and ​the art of living​ were two sides of the same coin, both of which were integral to the philosophical life in general, as well as the strength, resilience and health of a community as a whole and the lives of the individuals within that community.  To echo Pierre Hadot, John M. Cooper and thinkers like Socrates and Plato, the Stoics, Chu Hsi, Nietzsche, Descartes, Aristotle, Spinoza, and many more: the love of wisdom does not merely just cause us to ‘know’, “it makes us ‘be’ in a different way.” 

Embracing philosophy as “a way of life” has a ripple effect that extends far beyond our selves.  It is an educational and therapeutic “hands-in-dirt” sort of activity that can inspire us to take action and make the world a better place, as well as facilitate an environment that encourages others to do the same. 

In this way, we feel that philosophy is also a deeply transformative activity whose power is expressed by way of its ability to expand our hearts and minds (individually and collectively), equip us with better decision-making skills, and affect more informed, engaged, and thoughtful action.  

Our Mission

Our organization’s mission (and what it is that we do) is to create, develop, and provide a broad-spectrum of unique, fun & accessible opportunities for the Helena community to do, breathe & live philosophy.

Our programs are free to the public and support critical, creative thinking, the exchange of ideas, and the application of philosophy to everyday life.  More broadly, they are opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ages (from children to elders) to gather, to learn from and with one another, and to uniquely cultivate their personal and civic selves.

Cross-disciplinary, innovative & inclusive, our programs are geared to:

  • spark and encourage the exchange of ideas & the fun of doing philosophy
  • promote critical, creative thought & reflection
  • cultivate “philosophical sensitivity”
  • nurture and contribute to a sense of imagination and wonder
  • reconnect people with nature by way of doing philosophy in inspiring places
  • facilitate the application of philosophy to everyday life
  • inspire leadership & meaningful action, and
  • build, foster & strengthen the community and environment

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