ON PHILOSOPHY

SPRING 2021

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Monday 12th April

A Gentle Path to the Good Life

Todd May with Anthony Morgan

You’re probably never going to be a saint. Even so, let’s face it: you could be a better person. We all could. But what does that mean for you? In this event, political philosopher Todd May will consider how we can use a more forgiving, if no less fundamentally serious, moral compass than has traditionally been found in the annals of moral philosophy.

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Tuesday 20th April

A Citizen's Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Shannon Vallor and John Zerilli

Artificial intelligence, or AI for short, has generated a staggering amount of hype in the past several years. Is it the game-changer it’s been cracked up to be? If so, how is it changing the game? How is it likely to affect us as customers, tenants, patients, prison inmates, or members of ethnic and sexual minorities?

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Monday 3rd May

The Meaning of Climate Change

Dipesh Chakrabarty with Travis Holloway

In this event, leading historian of the Anthropocene Dipesh Chakrabarty will explore what it means to think from a planetary perspective, and why such a perspective is necessary for thinking and acting through our highly uncertain and disorienting times.

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Wednesday 12th May

Authority and the Politics of Expertise

Jana Bacevic and Federico Brandmayr

Some argue that experts have overstepped the boundaries of their proper role, and that their growing power leads to conflicts of interest and to unaccountability. Others claim that the real danger is posed by widespread anti-intellectualism and anti-science attitudes, resulting in shortsighted and ineffective decisions. Are experts in charge? And are we right to trust them?

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Monday 17th May

Philosophy in the Arts

Robert Pippin with Jensen Suther

What is the relationship between philosophy and the arts? In this conversation, Robert B. Pippin will explore how works of art can take on philosophical ambitions, contributing to philosophy in ways that transcend the discipline’s traditional analytic and discursive forms.

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Tuesday 25th May

Toward a New Ethic of Sexual Pedagogy

Richard Kearney with Anthony Morgan

Our contemporary culture is in crisis around touch. With the rise of #MeToo, questions surrounding the right and wrong kind of touch and the broader ethics of sexual communication have taken on a new and urgent relevance. In this conversation, renowned philosopher Richard Kearney will argue that we have lost the art of touch because we have not done the right kind of thinking or pedagogy around it.

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Monday 14th June

Philosophical Empires

Chris Meyns and Adam Ferner with Yoko Arisaka

What makes a philosophical text a "classic"? This talk will attempt to rethink the idea of philosophy as a series of “great works” by “great men” that feeds into a general, often unconscious, understanding of what makes a work “properly philosophical”.

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Monday 5th July

Dump Philosophy

Michael Marder with Sofia Lemos

According to Michael Marder, the Earth, along with everything that lives and thinks on it, is at an advanced stage of being converted into a dump for industrial output and its by-products feeding consumerism and its excesses. In this conversation, Marder will survey the devastation that is the reality of the twenty-first century, providing a frightening and yet intellectually spellbinding glimpse of the future.

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Tuesday 13th April

Infinitely Full of Hope

Tom Whyman with Josie Long

For Kant, philosophy boiled down to three key questions: “What can I know?”, “What ought I do?”, and “What can I hope for?” In this conversation with comedian Josie Long, Tom Whyman will attempt to answer Kant’s third question, trying to make sense of it in the context of a world that increasingly seems like it is on the verge of collapse.

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Monday 26th April

The Subversive Simone Weil

Robert Zaretsky with Lottie Moore

While many seekers have been attracted to Simone Weil’s religious thought, Robert Zaretsky will present us with a different Weil, exploring her insights into politics and ethics, and asking why her ideas continue to matter and fascinate us today.

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Monday 10th May

Why Trust Science?

Naomi Oreskes with Alexis Papazoglou

In this conversation with Alexis Papazoglou, host of “The Philosopher and the News” podcast, leading philosophy of science Naomi Oreskes will discuss the manufacture and maintenance of trust in science, the pursuit of scientific knowledge and consensus across the 20th and 21st centuries, the changing conception of science from an individual to a social pursuit, and the reasons for and responses to science going awry.

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Thursday 13th May

Character, Vices, and Authority

Heather Battaly and Ian James Kidd with Casey Johnson

When trying to make sense of the world, we rely on other people – for information, ideas, alternative perspectives, criticisms, and objections. We therefore need to be able to recognise authoritative people, ones worthy of the trust we put in them when we ask for intellectual help. But how do we identify authoritative people?

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Tuesday 18th May

Free Will and Criminal Justice

Gregg Caruso with Leo Zaibert

Within the criminal justice system, one of the most prominent justifications for legal punishment is retributivism. Join two philosophers at the cutting edge of research into punishment and retribution. Gregg Caruso opposes retributivism, while Leo Zaibert defends it. Let’s see how it plays out!

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Monday 31st May

The Ethics of Procreation and Childrearing

Anca Gheaus with Veromi Arsiradam and Adam Ferner

The idea that procreation is justified on the basis of being “natural” or “normal”, and thus lies beyond the realm of moral scrutiny, is becoming increasingly hard to defend. This conversation will explore the widespread social changes and collective consciousness-raising that have opened up a conceptual space in which both procreation and childrearing can be given critical consideration.

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Monday 21st June

Doing Justice to the Social

Sally Haslanger with Jana Bacevic

In this conversation with Jana Bacevic, leading social philosopher Sally Haslanger will explore the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of the social realm, paving the way for an enriched account of social justice and how it can be achieved.

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Tuesday 6th July

A New Theory of the Earth

Thomas Nail with Dorion Sagan

In this event, Thomas Nail will argue that climate change and other ecological disruptions challenge us to reconsider the deep history of minerals, atmosphere, plants, and animals and to take a more process-oriented perspective that sees humanity as part of the larger cosmic and terrestrial drama of mobility and flow.

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Monday 19th April

We Are Not Born Submissive

Manon Garcia with Kate Kirkpatrick

Historically, philosophers, psychoanalysts, and even some radical feminists have conflated femininity and submission. In this event, Manon Garcia will explore the nature of female submission, focusing on the thinking of Simone de Beauvoir, and more recent work in feminist philosophy, epistemology, and political theory.

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Tuesday 27th April

Liberation and Decolonization

Lewis Gordon with Olufemi O. Taiwo

Join leading existentialist scholar Lewis Gordon as he interrogates a trail from colonized philosophy to re-imagining liberation and revolution to critical challenges raised by Afropessimism, theodicy, and looming catastrophe.

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Tuesday 11th May

The Right to Know

Lani Watson with Aidan McGynn

We speak of the “right to know” with relative ease. You have the right to know the results of a medical test or to be informed about the collection and use of personal data. But what exactly is the right to know, and who should we trust to safeguard it?

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Friday 14th May

Oppression and Scientific Authority

Heidi Grasswick with Maya Goldenberg

In this conversation, leading feminist epistemologist Heidi Grasswick will highlight some of the obvious and more subtle ways the practices of science can be shaped by systems of oppression, focusing on both the gendered and racialized dimensions of scientific practices.

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Monday 24th May

Rethinking Violence

Brad Evans with Andrés Saenz de Sicilia

Whether physical or metaphorical, institutional or interpersonal, violence is everywhere. A seemingly immutable fact of life, it is nonetheless rarely engaged with at the conceptual level. What does violence actually mean? And is it an inevitable part of the human condition?

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Monday 7th June

Seeing Like an Activist

Erin Pineda with Robin Celikates

In this conversation, political theorist Erin Pineda will argue that the popular and familiar account of Civil Rights disobedience not only misremembers history, but also distorts our political judgments about how civil disobedience might fit into democratic politics.

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Monday 28th June

Hannah Arendt and Political Thinking

Samantha Rose Hill with Chiara Ricciardone

Hannah Arendt is one of the most renowned political thinkers of the twentieth century. In this conversation, Samantha Rose Hill will explore what Arendt’s writing and biography can teach us about engaging in the work of political thinking.

Following the success of our autumn 2020 series of “digital dialogues”, with people tuning in from 65 countries around the world, we have now confirmed the line-up for spring 2021. For the series poster, click here. 

 

We are incredibly excited by the wide range of topics that will be discussed and the amazing speakers who have agreed to take part. Please join us and spread the word to friends and colleagues!

All events begin at 7.00pm U.K. time (11am PST/2pm EST) and last for one hour, including time for audience questions.

Free and online. All welcome.

For information on past events, including recordings, click here.

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THE PHILOSOPHER

Published since 1923