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Wild Philosophy - CANCELLED

Jonathan  Rée (Author of Witcraft: The Invention of Philosophy in English)

Date: Tuesday 24th March


Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Time: 7-8:30pm


Cost: £5 (£3 concession)

 

Is philosophy an abstruse activity, confined to an academic élite? Not according to Jonathan Rée. Philosophy as he sees it is essentially democratic: an urgent incitement to civic doubt and intellectual dissent. In his best-selling book Witcraft he has drawn attention to dozens of neglected thinkers who have philosophised creatively while living more or less obscure lives. In this lecture he will extend his argument by exploring the kind of informal philosophy that springs up from time to time in the nooks and crannies of ordinary life: what he calls wild philosophy.  

Jonathan Rée is a freelance philosopher and historian. His recent book Witcraft: The Invention of Philosophy in English has been praised as "astonishing" by Boyd Tonkin. 

Philosophy after Racism - CANCELLED

Tommy J. Curry (University of Edinburgh)

Date: Tuesday 7th April


Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Time: 7-8:30pm


Cost: £5 (£3 concession)

Philosophy as created by Europe and transported to the United States has always constructed itself as opposed to an other. Race became the dominant language of modernity and the foundation of various colonial endeavours throughout the 20th century. Would those who aim to end oppression, racism, and other forms of dehumanization also be willing to surrender the apparatus of Western thought, or the production of its systems of knowledge that we call philosophy?

This talk will offer a provocative thesis suggesting that a true decolonial paradigm would require the dissolution of many of the cherished categories of Western systems of knowledge: Europe, the human, gender, feminism, reason, or even democracy. Would such thinking even be possible given the disciplinary constraints on our activity of thought?

Tommy J. Curry is professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests are in Africana Philosophy and the Black Radical Tradition. His areas of specialization are: 19th century ethnology, Critical Race Theory, Social Political Theory, and Black Male Studies. He is the author of The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood, which won the 2018 American Book Award. 

Fear of Our Own Power: Spinoza & the Climate Crisis - CANCELLED

Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen)

Date: Tuesday 21st April


Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Time: 7-8:30pm


Cost: £5 (£3 concession)

In this talk, renowned Spinoza scholar Beth Lord will explore what Spinoza can contribute to our thinking about the climate crisis, and specifically, our thinking about the emotions generated by it.

For Spinoza, that which increases human action and thinking is good: on this definition, deriving energy from fossil fuels has been a very great human good over the past 400 years. But we now understand our reliance on fossil fuels to be bad for our flourishing and that of other forms of life on earth. We can no longer rejoice in the consideration of collective human power: instead, we now fear its devastating predicted effects. What are the implications of this fear of our own power? What confusions does this fear emerge from? And how can we correct and clarify our emotional response to the climate crisis?

Beth Lord is a Canadian philosopher specialising in the history of philosophy, especially the work and influence of Immanuel Kant and Baruch Spinoza, and contemporary Continental philosophy. 

Panpsychism is Not Just for Hippies - CANCELLED

Philip Goff (University of Durham)

Date: Tuesday 5th May


Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Time: 7-8:30pm


Cost: £5 (£3 concession)

Once dismissed by Colin McGinn as “a complete myth, a comforting piece of utter balderdash. . . isn’t there something vaguely hippyish, i.e. stoned, about the doctrine?”, panpsychism is on the rise, and University of Durham philosopher Philip Goff is leading the charge. 

Rooted in an analysis of the philosophical underpinnings of modern science and based on the early 20th century work of Arthur Eddington and Bertrand Russell, Goff will make the case for panpsychism as a theory which posits that consciousness is not confined to biological entities but is a fundamental feature of all physical matter—from subatomic particles to the human brain. 

Philip Goff's recent book Galileo's Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness has been praised by Philip Pullman as "a splendid introduction to this fascinating idea."

How to Be a Stoic - CANCELLED

John Sellars (Royal Holloway)

Date: Tuesday 19th May


Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Time: 7-8:30pm


Cost: £5 (£3 concession)

After hosting Edith Hall defending Aristotle in 2018 and Catherine Wilson defending Epicurus in 2019, we are delighted to have John Sellars come and defend the Stoics in 2020! 

What aspects of your life do you really control? What do you do when you cannot guarantee that things will turn out in your favour? And what can Stoicism teach us about how to live together? Sellars will be addressing these and other questions that play a central role in this reinvigorated philosophy of life. 

John Sellars is a lecturer in Philosophy at Royal Holloway and one of the founder members of Modern Stoicism, the group behind Stoic Week, an annual global event inviting members of the public to "live like a Stoic for a week" to see how it might improve their lives. He recently wrote the bestselling Lessons in Stoicism

The Philosophy Queens - CANCELLED

Rebecca Buxton (Oxford) & Lisa Whiting (Birkbeck)

Date: Tuesday 2nd June


Venue: Lit and Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE


Time: 7-8:30pm


Cost: £5 (£3 concession)

The history of philosophy has not done women justice: you've probably heard the names Plato, Kant, Nietzsche and Locke - but what about Hypatia, Arendt, Oluwole and Young?

In this talk, Rebecca Buxton and Lisa Whiting will discuss their much anticipated edited collection The Philosopher Queens, a book about the lives and works of women in philosophy by women in philosophy. From Hypatia to Angela Davis, Buxton and Whiting will guide us through the history of these badass women and how their amazing ideas have changed the world. 

Rebecca Buxton is a PhD student in International Development at the University of Oxford, specialising in philosophy, ethics and forced migration, while Lisa Whiting is currently studying for an MSc in Government, Policy and Politics following her undergraduate degree in philosophy.