Photo by Laurie Noble/Getty
Photo by Laurie Noble/Getty

The philosophy you already have

Liberalism is not just a rational political philosophy but the basis of a truly meaningful life

Should individuals be free to pursue their own passions and interests in life? It’s very likely you agree with this liberal principle. But it’s less clear that ideals of personal freedom and fairness are enough to build a sustainable, meaningful and ethical life. What about ideals like interdependence or having a higher purpose? Philosopher Alexandre Lefebvre argues that liberalism is all we need, both in the personal and the political realm. Come along to see if he can convince you, with a dash of humour from charismatic performer and writer Mish Grigor.

What’s it like at the Sophia Club?

You’ll experience spirited conversation between the guest speaker and host alongside captivating artistic performances. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with food, drink and conversation.

Reading resources

Alexandre Lefebvre


Headshot of Alexandre Lefebvre

Photo by David Braddon-Mitchell

Alexandre Lefebvre is professor of politics and philosophy at the University of Sydney. His research interests include political theory, the history of political thought, modern and contemporary French philosophy, and human rights. In his most recent book, Liberalism as a Way of Life (2024), he shows how liberalism is all you need to lead a good, fun, worthy and rewarding life – and how you can become a better and happier person by taking your liberal beliefs more seriously. He has received fellowships from Princeton University, Cornell University, the Australian National University, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Alex can be found on Twitter at @alex_usyd

Mish Grigor


Mish Grigor headshot

Photo by Bryony Jackson

Mish Grigor is a celebrated Australian performer, theatremaker and writer using autobiography, humour and fiction to interrogate the frames of power from which art and identity emerge. She is the co-director of experimental arts organisation APHIDS, which won the Melbourne award for Arts and Events in 2023. Mish’s solo piece The Talk toured internationally to Forest Fringe, Buzzcut, The Marlborough, Performance Space for Liveworks, Darwin Festival and PICA. She is also a PhD researcher at Monash University, working under the Staging Australian Women’s Lives ARC project. She has most recently been performing at the Lincoln Center in New York City with Pan Pan Theatre.

Mish can be found on Instagram at @mishgrigor.pdf

Brigid Hains


Brigid Hains is the editorial director of Aeon Media. An environmental historian by training, she is driven by a deep curiosity about the natural and human worlds. The Sophia Club is a chance for Brigid to express her love of beauty and the arts, and to share the heartfelt dimensions of her intellectual life.

Event and ticketing details

Date and time

Wednesday, 28 February, 2024

7:30PM ‘til late


Full price - $30

Concession - $15


Brunswick Ballroom, 314-316 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Melbourne, 3056

  • Doors open: 6:00pm
  • Performance starts: 7:30pm sharp
  • Access your ticket for the event via the Moshtix confirmation email. Please note: this email may be delivered to your junk or spam folders
  • Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the bar. Food service will halt during the performance, so we recommend arriving early and settling in with something delicious from the Ballroom Menu before the show starts
  • Please note that seating is cabaret-style and unallocated. We warmly encourage you to share tables with fellow Sophia Club attendees
  • This venue has an 18+ age requirement, and valid ID must be shown upon entry
  • The Brunswick Ballroom is wheelchair-accessible and fitted with an Acorn Indoor 180 Curved Stairlift. Please be mindful that wheelchairs must be carried up the stairs – the Brunswick Ballroom staff are more than happy to assist
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Brunswick Ballroom,
314-316 Sydney Road Brunswick Melbourne 3056

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The Sophia Club is a new venture from Aeon Media, the publisher of Aeon and Psyche magazines.

Aeon is based in Melbourne, Australia and we respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which our Melbourne events take place, the Wurundjeri people of the Woiworung language group of the Kulin Nation.
We value the knowledge traditions and rich practice of philosophy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia, and all First Nations peoples around the world.