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Forum for European Philosophy
Room COW G.05, European Institute
London School of Economics & Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

 

Tel +44 (0) 207 955 7539

 

 
philosophy-forum@lse.ac.uk
 

 

Find us on Twitter @ForumPhilosophy

 

(Charity No. 1070105)

 

 

Forum for European Philosophy

FEPThe Forum is an educational charity which organises and runs a full and varied programme of philosophy and interdisciplinary events in the UK. Our events take various forms but we studiously avoid academic papers. Formats we like include dialogues, panel discussions, public lectures and provocations, all of which are open to the public and most of which are free.   

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Summer 2015 Events

Download the Forum's Summer 2015 Programme 

Is Politics Based on Morality?

Monday 27 April, 6.30 – 8pm
New Theatre, East Building, LSE

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Fabienne Peter, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick

Catherine Rowett, Professor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia and Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for South Norfolk

Stephen de Wijze, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, University of Manchester

Chair: Geoffrey Hawthorn, Emeritus Professor of International Politics and Emeritus Fellow, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge

Is politics the instrument of moral ideals and values? Is it something like ‘applied morality’? In recent years there has been a revival of approaches which give greater autonomy to distinctively political thought, which can be called ‘political realism’, in contrast to ‘political moralism’. The panel discussion will explore this contrast, and ask whether political legitimacy is ultimately a question of one's moral conception. 

Evolutionary Benefits of False Beliefs?

Tuesday 5 May, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

Dominic Johnson, Alastair Buchan Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford

Ryan McKay, Reader in Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London

Chair: Tali Sharot, Director of the Affective Brain Lab and Reader in the Department of Experimental Psychology, UCL and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

The human mind produces countless biases, illusions and predictable errors. Are such false beliefs adaptive? Had they evolved for a reason? From overconfidence to the illusion of control, the speakers will argue that false beliefs can provide the individual with an advantage in domains ranging from war and politics to health and finance. But how do such beliefs affect us as a society?

The Good Life

Monday 11 May, 6.30 – 8pm 
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

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Amber Carpenter, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Yale-NUS College and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of York

Josh Cohen, Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London and a practising psychoanalyst

Edward Skidelsky, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Exeter

Chair: Danielle Sands, Lecturer in Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

What makes a life good? Is the ‘good life’ a happy life? Does the ‘good life’ name an individual experience or a social goal? In what ways have alterations in our perception of the human changed the notion of human flourishing? In this event, three thinkers will address the meaning and significance of the ‘good life’ today.

Belief and Evidence

Monday 18 May, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

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Clayton Littlejohn, Lecturer in Philosophy, King’s College London

Daniel Weiss, Polonsky-Coexist Lecturer in Jewish Studies, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Chair: Peter Dennis, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

The Enlightenment philosopher David Hume tells us that ‘a wise man proportions his belief to his evidence.’ And according to W.K. Clifford, ‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence’. But is believing without evidence really wrong, and if so what are we to make of religious beliefs? To answer these questions, we will bring together an epistemologist and a philosopher of religion.

On Free Speech

Tuesday 2 June, 6.30-8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

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Lisa Appignanesi, writer, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator and Visiting Professor, Department of English, King’s College London

Rae Langton, Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Stephen Law, Lecturer in Philosophy, Heythrop College, University of London

Peter McDonald, Professor of English and Related Literature, University of Oxford

Chair: Peter Dennis, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

Recent events have provoked a public debate about the right to free speech. In a continuation of this debate, we will bring together philosophers and campaigners to examine the philosophical underpinnings of free speech, and how recent events should affect our thinking about it. 

Alienation and Disenchantment

Tuesday 9 June, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Unfortunately, no podcast is available for this event

Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Max De-Gaynesford, Professor of Philosophy, University of Reading

Joanna Hodge, Professor of Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Chair: Peter Dennis, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

‘The fate of our times is characterised by rationalisation and intellectualisation and, above all, by the “disenchantment of the world”’, declared Max Weber in 1917. These themes have occupied Akeel Bilgrami over many years, and his reflections on them have now been brought together in a collection of essays, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment. In a change to the original programme, Bilgrami will be with us to discuss his work, alongside Max De-Gaynesfordand Joanna Hodge.  

Are We Stewards of the Earth?

Monday 22 June, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

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Jennifer Gabrys, Reader in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

Simon James, Senior Lecturer in Philospphy, University of Durham

Chair: Danielle Sands, Lecturer in Philosophy, Royal Holloway, University of London and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

Are humans exceptional among living beings? How should we understand our relationship with the natural world? Current ecological crises have led to new conceptions of this relationship, increased focus on human responsibilities, and changing environmental practices. In this panel, two speakers will address both the theoretical questions raised by these issues and assess some of the practical responses which have been advanced.

International Cooperation and Climate Change

This event is jointly organised with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

Tuesday 23 June, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

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Alina Averchenkova, Co-Head of Climate Policy, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

John Broome, Emeritus White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Oxford

Robyn Eckersley, Professor of Political Science, University of Melbourne

Fergus Green, Policy Analyst and Research Advisor to Professor Stern, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

Chair: Katie Steele, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

In the wake of the fifth IPCC Report, we know that tackling climate change is crucial for human well-being. So why has the international community been faltering on effective climate action? What prospects are there for improvement at the forthcoming Paris conference? And how should we frame responsibilities and opportunities so as to break through the collective-action impasse? This panel discussion will draw on expertise from philosophy, political science and climate policy.
 

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The Folly of Crowds?

Thursday 25 June, 6.30 – 8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

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Peter Ayton, Professor of Psychology, City University, London

Sepideh Bazazi, Researcher at the Centre on Animal Cognition, DYNACTOM, Université Paul Sabatier

Chris Frith, Psychologist and Emeritus Professor at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London

Chair: Bahador Bahrami, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL

Mind sharing, crowdsourcing, online ratings – in our modern world we are constantly exposed to the opinion of the group. We are told that crowds are wise (‘Two heads are better than one’ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) and are cautioned against the madness of the mobs (‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’). When is the crowd wise and when is it prone to madness?

The Folly of Crowds?

Speakers: Professor Peter Ayton, Dr Sepideh Bazazi, Professor Chris Frith

Recorded on: 25 June 2015

Play | Download:  Audio

 

International Cooperation and Climate Change

This event is jointly organised with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

Speakers: Dr Alina Averchenkova, Professor John Broome, Professor Robyn Eckersley, Fergus Green

Recorded on: 23 June 2015

Play | Download: Audio

 

On Free Speech

Speakers: Dr Lisa Appignanesi, Professor Rae Langton, Dr Stephen Law,  Professor Peter McDonald

Recorded on: 2 June 2015

Play | Download: Audio

 

Is Politics Based on Morality?

Speakers: Dr Fabienne PeterProfessor Catherine RowettDr Stephen de Wijze 
In coversation withProfessor Geoffrey Hawthorn 
Recorded on: 27 April 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

European Politics and Government 

Speakers: Professor Jonathan HolslagDr Mareike Kleine 
Recorded on: 11 March 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Political Economy of European Union 

Speakers: Professor Bob HanckéProfessor David Soskice 
Recorded on: 11 March 2015 

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Disintegrating Europe: Nationalism, Regionalism and Globalization 

Speakers: Prof John Breuilly and Prof Kalypso Nicolaïdis 
Recorded on: 11 March 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Reconnecting Europe: Bridging the gap between European citizens and European institutions 

Speaker: Joaquín Almunia, Welcome by Luc Luyten 
Recorded on: 11 March 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

On Civil Disobedience 

Speaker: Dr Kimberley Brownlee 
Recorded on: 5 March 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Gender and the Brain 

Speakers: Professor John DupréProfessor Gina Rippon 
Recorded on: 2 March 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Literary Festival 2015: Is There Life in the Novel of Ideas? 

Speakers: Professor Peter BoxallJennie ErdalAndrew O’Hagan 
Recorded on: 28 February 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Literary Festival 2015: The Human Age? Art and Identity in the Anthropocene 


Speakers: Dr Matthew GriffithsGaia VinceDr Kathryn Yusoff 
Recorded on: 28 February 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Literary Festival 2015: The Soul of the Marionette: a short inquiry into human freedom 

Speaker: Professor John Gray 
Recorded on: 25 February 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Philosophy, the Public and Other Subjects 

Speaker: Professor Simon Glendinning 
Recorded on: 10 February 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

On Informed Consent 

Speakers: Professor Baroness O’NeillProfessor Jonathan Wolff 
Recorded on: 9 February 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

On Truth 

Speakers: Professor Simon BlackburnProfessor Pascal Engel 
Recorded on: 2 February 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

What Is Rationality, Anyway? 

Speaker: Dr Peter Dennis 
Recorded on: 13 January 2015 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Questions of Identity 

Speakers: Professor Vincent DescombesAlan Montefiore 
Recorded on: 11 December 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Accelerate Europe: The geographical imaginaries of accelerationism 

Speaker: Dr Benjamin Noys 
Recorded on: 4 December 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Ethics Matters in Climate Change 

Speaker: Professor John Broome 
Recorded on: 1 December 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

On Progress and Human Development 

Speakers: Professor Paul AnandCatherine AudardProfessor Jonathan Wolff 
Recorded on: 27 November 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Ethics Matters in the Family 

Speaker: Professor Adam Swift 
Recorded on: 13 November 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Food Policy: Ethics for your kitchen and beyond

Speakers: Professor Luc BovensElena Rivilla LutterkortDuncan Williamson
Recorded on: 4 November 2014

Play | Download: Audio

 

Do We Need to Shake Up the Social Sciences? 

Speakers: Professor Nicholas ChristakisProfessor Patrick Dunleavy
Dr Amanda GoodallProfessor Andrew Oswald 
Recorded on: 21 October 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

Rationality and Irrationality in Government 

Speaker: Professor Cass Sunstein 
In conversation withDr Tali Sharot 
Recorded on: 16 October 2014 

Play | Download: Audio

 

For more podcasts go to Past Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FEPSummer2015Programme     
Public lectures and events videos and podcasts