Dialogues Past Events

In this series two thinkers engage in lively discussion about a fundamental question, an important event, an extraordinary idea, or a great mind.  

On Exploitation

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Thursday 20 February 2014, 6.30-8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE   

HillelSteiner

 


Hillel Steiner|, Professor of Political Philosophy, University of Manchester     

NicholasVrousalis 

 

Nicholas Vrousalis|, Assistant Professor in Political Philosophy, Leiden University   

 

 

Chair: Gabriel Wollner|, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

Child labour, sweatshops and low wages: There are many market exchanges that strike us as morally problematic because they are exploitative. But what exactly is exploitation? And how could a voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange be morally wrong? Hille Steiner and Nicholas Vrousalis discussed the relevance of exploitation as a concept for analysing and criticising the exchanges, relations and institutions of contemporary market economies. 

 

The impact of the Cold War on American and European cultural identity

This event is jointly organised with the City of London Sinfonia|  

Friday 27 September 2013, 6pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre 

www.southbankcentre.co.uk/|     

Daniel Johnson|, Editor of Standpoint

In conversation with

Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 

This dialogue discussed the impact of the Cold War on American and European cultural identity.

 

Philosophical Biography and Autobiographical Philosophy

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Tuesday 2 July 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

RayMonk 

 

Ray Monk|, Professor of Philosophy, University of Southampton  

 

 

StephenMulhall

 

 

Stephen Mulhall|, Professor and Fellow in Philosophy, New College, University of Oxford  

 

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy   

Heidegger famously introduced his course on Aristotle with the words ‘He was born. He thought. He died.’ This dialogue explored two dimension of the relation between philosophy, biography and autobiography. First, is the biography of a philosopher simply irrelevant to an understanding of his or her thought? And, second, is there a dimension of philosophical thought that is itself autobiographical?

 

On Philippa Foot

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Tuesday 18 June 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

SarahBroadie

 


Sarah Broadie|, Professor of Moral Philosophy and Wardlaw Professor, University of St Andrews  

 

 

AlexVoorhoeve(2)

 


Alex Voorhoeve|
, Reader in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE  

 

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Why be moral? May we kill one to save others? Is morality objective? In writings renowned for their creativity, incisiveness, and humour, Philippa Foot (1920-2010) made key contributions to these questions. Foot focused especially on the importance of thinking in terms of virtues and vices. In a Dialogue that aimed to do justice to Foot’s engaging, witty spirit, moral philosophers Sarah Broadie and Alex Voorhoeve critically discussed Foot’s ideas.

 

Green Philosophy

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Wednesday 5 June 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

RupertRead(2) 


Rupert Read|
, Chair of the Green House thinktank, East of England Green Party Co-ordinator and Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia  

 

RogerScruton(1)

 


Roger Scruton|
is a philosopher, writer and consultant. He holds visiting positions at St Andrews University and the University of Oxford and is also a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. 

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 

In his new book Green Philosophy, Roger Scruton outlines a conception of effective environmental activism that he regards as internal to conservative politics. However, he also regards the approach he defends as congenial to certain forms of left environmentalism. And he calls for ‘a new alliance’ that can help heal the left/right rift in our culture. In conversation with philosopher and chair of the Green House thinktank Rupert Read, these ambitions were put to the test.

 

On Beauty

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Wednesday 15 May 2013, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE     

JohnHyman

 


John Hyman|, Professor of Aesthetics, Fellow of Queen's College, University of Oxford and editor of the British Journal of Aesthetics   

 

 

ElisabethSchellekens

 

Elisabeth Schellekens|, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Durham University and co-editor of the British Journal of Aesthetics   

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 

The concept of beauty is one we all frequently use to describe not only the appearance of material things, but also people's characters, actions and even reasoning processes. What, if anything, do all these manifestations of beauty have in common? Does it make sense to apply the concept of beauty to them all and, if so, was Kant right to point out that there are actually different kinds of beauty? 

  

Religion and Sexuality

This event was jointly organised with the City of London Sinfonia’s Poulenc Festival|

Thursday 11 April 2013, 6.15 – 7.30pm
Southwark Cathedral 

 AnneAtkins

 

Anne Atkins|, broadcaster, journalist and novelist  

 

 RevRichardColes

 

Rev Richard Coles|, musician, journalist and Church of England priest  

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

This event aimed to cultivate discussion and understanding on the difficult but important topic of Christian perspectives on sexuality. This was not a Newsnight stand-off but a serious and frank engagement with Christian points of view on this theme.
 

John Locke and European Philosophy

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Monday 11 March 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

EtienneBalibar 

Etienne Balibar|, Anniversary Chair in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University; Emeritus Professor of Moral and Political Philosophy, University of Paris 10 Nanterre and Visiting Professor, Columbia University    

 

Quassim-Cassam 

 

Quassim Cassam|, Professor of Philosophy, Warwick University

 

 

 

Chair: Stella Sandford|, Reader in Modern European Philosophy, CRMEP, Kingston University

Locke’s foundational place in the history of British empiricism and liberal political thought is well known, but in what sense is John Locke a modern European philosopher? 

 

On Humour

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Monday 18 February 2013, 6.30-8.00pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

 JulianBaggini

 

Julian Baggini|, philosopher, writer and broadcaster   

 

 

HardeepKohli

 

Hardeep Singh Kohli|, raconteur, cook, writer and broadcaster   

 

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 

Humour is not to be confused with comedy and jokes. Humour concerns something that belongs to and can more or less pervade everyday life and conversation, not something restricted to comedy sketches or stand-up routines. This dialogue explored everyday humour, and its distinctive regional and cultural variations. Are there principles of British humour that transcend class, profession, religion and region? Are there ‘cultures of humour’ across the world? 
 

On Iris Murdoch

Monday 28 January 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

TimChappell

 

 

Timothy Chappell|, Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Ethics Centre, The Open University   

 

 

SabinaLovibond

 

Sabina Lovibond|, Emeritus Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Worcester College, University of Oxford   

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

The work of Iris Murdoch (1919-99) inspires growing enthusiasm and curiosity. Yet perhaps just because of her striking originality, her achievement is hard to place on the cultural map. Is she essentially an academic philosopher, a novelist, or a brilliant but unclassifiable individual thinker? And if we picture her as an iconic 'woman philosopher', is this a distraction or a source of insight? 

 

On Being Progressive

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Tuesday 20 November 2012, 6.30-8.00pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

Maurice Fraser


Maurice Fraser|
, Senior Fellow in European Politics, European Institute, LSE 

  

 

PollyToynbee 


Polly Toynbee|
, journalist and writer. She has been a columnist for The Guardian since 1998

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

‘Progressive’ is a slippery term. Right (i.e. Left)- thinking people use it with casual abandon, to confer moral approval on a set of values which they regard as uncontroversial. But on close examination the meaning of the term appears contingent, historically-specific and contestable. Who is to say what is ‘progressive’? Is it time to rescue it from political correctness? And can the Right lay at least as compelling a claim to it as the Left?

 

On Cosmopolitanism

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Monday 19 November 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

LauraValentini


Laura Valentini|
, Lecturer in Political Philosophy, Department of Political Science, University College London

  

LeaYpi(1) 

 

Lea Ypi|, Lecturer in Political Theory, Government Department, LSE and Adjunct Professor in Philosophy, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

The term cosmopolitanism is often used in contemporary political discourse, but its meaning is far from clear. The term ‘cosmopolitan’ might denote someone with a particularly ecumenical cultural background or life-style, someone committed to the fundamental moral equality of persons, or someone supporting the creation of supra-national institutions (even a world state). What is the relationship between these different understandings of the term ‘cosmopolitanism’? And which forms of cosmopolitanism are most defensible?

 

In the Zone: Spontaneity and Mental Discipline in Sport and Beyond

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Thursday 8 November 2012, 6.30-8.00pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

MichaelBrearley

 


Michael Brearley|
is a psychoanalyst in London, in earlier life he taught philosophy, and was a professional cricketer

  

David Papineau


David Papineau|
, Professor of Philosophy, King's College London

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

What is meant by ‘being in the zone’? Can philosophy or cognitive science help explain the combination of mental and physical effort required for sporting excellence? Michael Brearely discussed technique and emotion, concentration and relaxation, self-criticism and self-confidence, and considered whether the capacity to find an optimum balance of such qualities can be learned or fostered. David Papineau spoke about the way that high-level sport requires intentional mental control of reflex behaviour, and reflected on what this tells us about both cognition and sport.

 

The Ethics of Human Enhancement

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Tuesday 30 October 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE 

NickBostromNick Bostrom|, Professor, Faculty of Philosophy & Oxford Martin School, Director of the Future of Humanity Institute and Director of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology, Oxford Martin School and Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford

 

AnneKerr

 

 

Anne Kerr|, Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

This dialogue considered how issues related to human enhancement fit into the bigger picture of humanity’s future, including the risks and opportunities that will be created by future technological advances. It questioned the individualistic logic of human enhancement and considered the social conditions and consequences of enhancement technologies, both real and imagined. 

 

How to Watch the Olympics

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|

Monday 25 June 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

DavidGoldblatt|



David Goldblatt|
, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He is author of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football and, with Johnny Acton, How to Watch the Olympics


In conversation with


SimonGlendinning|


Simon Glendinning|
, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 





How did the Games become so caught up with symbols and expressions of national identity and national pride? Should we feel guilty about feeling a few hours of warm-hearted patriotism when athletes from our nation win a medal? And why is Greco-Roman wrestling so crucial to Kazakhstan? 

 

Immortality

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|Wednesday 30 May 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

StephenCave|


Stephen Cave|
, philosopher and writer. He is the author of Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilisation


JohnGray|



John Gray|
, Emeritus Professor of European Thought, LSE. He is the author of The Immortalization Commission: The Strange Quest to Cheat Death


Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Every human culture has claimed some way of defeating death, whether through mummification, reincarnation, or resurrection when the last trumpet sounds. In our age of failed ideologies and empty churches, many now hope science will provide the route to everlasting life. Can it? Should we even want it to? And is the will to live forever, which has so shaped the human story, a blessing or a curse? 
 

On Guilt

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Tuesday 8 May 2012, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Robert Eagleton|

Robert Eaglestone|
, Professor of Contemporary Literature and
Thought, Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London and Series Editor, Routledge Critical Thinkers


EdwardHarcourt|


Edward Harcourt|
, University Lecturer in Philosophy, Oxford University and Fellow of Keble College

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Is guilt one emotion or many? In exploring this question, topics addressed included the relationship between different kinds of guilt (e.g. moral guilt, guilt at breaking a diet, survivor guilt and collective guilt); the experience of guilt in relation to cultural and religious background; and the place of guilt in ‘developed’ and ‘primitive’ moral consciousness.

 

On Friendship

This event was jointly organized with Hire Intelligence

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|

Tuesday 21 February 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
New Theatre, East Building, LSE

Mark Vernon


Mark Vernon|, writer, broadcaster and journalist. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London.

 

 

 

In conversation with 
glendinning


Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

 

 

A tremendous burden is being placed on friends. Friendship, we believe or hope, is elastic enough to connect us across the web of complex lives, and strong enough not to snap. But is it? What, in fact, is the love called friendship? What is the nature of its rules and perils, as well as its promise?

 

Freedom of Speech on Campus

This event was jointly organized with the LSE Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and the LSE Chaplaincy

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Wednesday 8 February 2012, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Nicola Dandridge

 

 

Nicola Dandridge|, Chief Executive of Universities UK

 

 

 

Sue Mendus



Sue Mendus|, Professor of Political Philosophy, University of York. She is also member of the Morrell Centre for Toleration at the University of York and Vice President (Social Sciences) of the British Academy.

 

 

 

Chair: Janet Hartley|, Professor of International History, LSE and Pro Director for Teaching and Learning, LSE

Freedom of speech within the law is central to liberal democratic societies in general as well as to the modern university as a forum for vigorous debate. But when does this liberty threaten the cohesion of social groups in general, and universities as learning communities in particular? Beyond the law, should any limits be put on what can be said in a centre of learning? Is it the responsibility of a university to teach students the value of respectful speech and, if so, what are the limits of respectful speech? 

 

 

On Love  

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Tuesday 29 November 2011, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Photo of David Bell

 

David Bell|, President of The British Psychoanalytic Society and Consultant Psychiatrist, Adult Department, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

 

 

Photo of Simon May

 

 

Simon May|, Visiting Professor of Philosophy,
King's College London

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Is genuine love really unconditional – unlike all other emotions? Or necessarily enduring? Or a disinterested concern for the flourishing of our loved ones? Simon May  argued it is not, and then presented his own theory of love as the desire for those whom we experience as indestructibly grounding our life. David Bell responded to Simon May's presentation, approaching the subject from a psychoanalytic perspective and drawing in particular on the work of Freud, Klein and Bion. 

  

Democracy in the Workplace 

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Thursday 24 November 2011, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Axel Gosseries|, Professor, Louvain University, UCL; Permanent Research Fellow, Fund for Scientific Research (FRS-FNRS) and Research Associate, CPNSS, LSE

Paul Loach |has been investing in, and developing, SME's for 30 years. He has held directorships in a variety of companies and has an M.Sc. in Corporate Governance.

Chair: Jonathan White|, Lecturer in European Politics, European Institute, LSE

In today's economic climate, jobs seem more precarious than ever. Those who avoid redundancy can expect wage freezes and shrinking pensions. Should workers be given more say in management decisions? Or are workers' rights the problem? What are the theoretical and practical issues at stake? This dialogue explored the prospects for workplace democracy - utopian ideal, or an idea whose time has come?

  

Chaos, Unpredictability and the Evolution of Mathematical Ideas

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Tuesday 18 October 2011, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

  PaulGlendinning 

 

Paul Glendinning|, Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Manchester

 

 

CharlotteWerndl 

 

Charlotte Werndl|, Lecturer in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Chaos research has been hailed as having led to revolutionary scientific advances. This interdisciplinary dialogue between a philosopher and a mathematician discussed the insights gained from chaos research about unpredictability and the evolution of mathematical ideas.

 

Architecture and Happiness

 This event was jointly organized with the London Society Journal

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Thursday 6 October 2011, 6.30-8.00pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Photo of Ben Rogers

 

Ben Rogers|, Director of the Centre for London think tank. He has written books on philosophy and history and recently edited a series of papers for CABE and AHRC on beauty and public policy.

  

 

Photo of Roger Scruton

 

Roger Scruton|, writer and philosopher. He holds visiting positions at St Andrews University Scotland, the University of Oxford and the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. 

 

 

 

Chair: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Introduced by William Arthurs|, Editor of the London Society Journal and Trustee of the London Society since 2001.

Architecture is the most public of artforms and has borne political, religious and moral meanings throughout history. Can architecture promote human well-being? And if so, how? 

 

On Happiness

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Tuesday 7 June 2011, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark|
Research Professor, CNRS, Paris School of Economics and Research Associate, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

 

 

 

Antti Kauppinen

Antti Kauppinen|
Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin

 

 

 

Is there more to happiness than pleasure or belief that life is going well? Should public policy aim at increasing happiness instead of prosperity or social justice?

 

The Ethics of Photojournalism

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Friday 13 May 2011, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Luc Bovens

Luc Bovens
|Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

 

 

 

Simon Norfolk

Simon Norfolk|
Award winning landscape photographer

 

 

 

 
This dialogue between a photojournalist and a philosopher explored how war photography treads a fine line between truthfulness, procuring impact and respecting the dignity of the victims of war as well as the sensitivities of readers.

 

 

Moral Error Theory and Moral Scepticism

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Thursday 24 February 2011, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Hallvard Lilliehammer

 

Hallvard Lillehammer|,
Senior Lecturer and Sidgwick Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Cambridge and Senior Research Fellow, Churchill College

Website|

 Bart Streumer

Bart Streumer|
Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Reading

Website|

 

In recent years there has been increasing interest in the idea that moral thought is embroiled in some kind of error. Yet why think the error is attributable to moral thought as such as opposed to those who interpret it as erroneous? In this dialogue Hallvard Lillehammer and Bart Streumer debated their views on this topic.

 

On Forgiveness

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Monday 7 February 2011, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Tom Farrow

 

Tom Farrow|,
Senior Lecturer in Psychiatric Neuroimaging, Medical School, University of Sheffield and Honorary NHS Clinical Scientist

Website|

 

Raimond Gaita

 

Raimond Gaita|,
Professor of Moral Philosophy, King's College London

Website|

This interdisciplinary dialogue discussed the role of forgiveness in private and public life and considered whether neuroscience and philosophy can offer complementary perspectives on the concept of forgiveness.

 

 

 

Eating Animals

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Wednesday 19 January 2011, 6.45-8.15pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE 

Jonathan Safran Foer

 

Jonathan Safran Foer|
author of 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' and 'Everything is Illuminated', which won the National Jewish Book Award and The Guardian First Book Award.

 In conversation with

Photo of Kristina MusholtKristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

 

 

 

Eating Animals is an exhaustively-argued account of one man's decade-long struggle with vegetarianism. Part memoir, part exposé, the book examines the topics of factory farming and commercial fisheries and explores the cultural significance of food.

 

Fanaticism

 

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Monday 11 October 2010, 6.30-8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Alberto ToscanoAlberto Toscano|, Senior lecturer in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of 'Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea' (Verso, 2010) Website|

Bob EaglestoneRobert Eaglestone|, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought, Royal Holloway, University of London

Website|

 

Fanaticism is usually seen as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs. Alberto Toscano's compelling counter-history explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed. Alberto Toscano debated this ideas with Robert Eaglestone.

 

Is there a French mentality?

***CANCELLED***

Lucy WadhamTuesday 5 October 2010, 6.30-8.00pm
 
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Lucy Wadham|, Novelist and journalist. She is the author of 'The Secret Life of France' (Faber & Faber, 2009)

Website|

 

In conversation with

Maurice Fraser|, Senior Fellow in European Politics, European Institute, LSE and Vice-Chair of the Franco-British Council. He is a regular commentator in French media and was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 2008.

The French concept of 'mentalité' aims to describe distinctive mind-sets revealed in social conventions and everyday assumptions. Beyond national stereotypes, is there a recognisably 'French' way of managing the ethical dilemmas of private and public life, and the realities of political power?

 

The World Cup

Wednesday 19 May 2010, 6.30 - 8.pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

David GoldblattDavid Goldblatt| is a writer, broadcaster and teacher. He is the author of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football and has been writing the Sporting Life column in Prospect since 2008. He has been reporting for BBC World Service and Radio 4 on politics and football in Israel, economics and baseball in the Dominican Republic and the globalization of cricket. He will be embarking on a South African odyssey in June, and writing a daily world cup blog for Prospect. Website|

Farayi Mungazi

 

 

Farayi Mungazi| was born in Zimbabwe and has been a sports presenter and commentator on Zimbabwe Broadcasting. In 1999 he joined the BBC World Service and has worked on the sports output for Focus on Africa, Network Africa and the BBC African football website. Farayi is passionate about sport, with a fondness for cricket and figure-skating as well as football. He hopes to run the London marathon one day. Website|

Chair/Referee: Simon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

The World Cup Finals, now 80 years old, attracts the biggest television audience of any global event. In an era of globalization, it is, if only for a month every four years, the closest we come to imagining and being a global community. It's the kind of audience no state, no political movement can turn down and since the Uruguayans celebrated the centenary of national independence by hosting the 1930 tournament, politics has been in play at every game. In this dialogue David Goldblatt and Farayi Mungazi explored the political history and cultural meanings of the World Cup in the context of the 2010 tournament.

 

Atheists on Religion

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Wednesday 12 May 2010, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Tim Crane

 

Tim Crane|, Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge and Fellow of Peterhouse College

Website|

 

 

  

AC GraylingA C Grayling|, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London, and Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford

Website|

 

For the last 150 years or so European philosophers and sociologists have tended to regard religion as just one more pre-scientific myth and superstition that has had its day, and likely to wither on the vine of History. This view, the secularization thesis, seems today to be in poor shape. Not only does there appear to be no sign of withering, still less a clear path of scientific and rational progress, but religion seems to be reviving. Classic atheist criticisms of religion tend today to sound increasingly strident and dogmatic. In this dialogue two of Britain's leading philosophers who are also convinced atheists explored the continued attractions of religious belief and its place in a European world whose secular character is itself today in question.

 

The Habermas-Rawls Dispute Reconsidered

Thursday 11 March 2010, 12.30 - 2.00pm
Room T206, Lakatos Building, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

Catherine AudardCatherine Audard|, Visiting Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Chair of the Forum for European Philosophy; Département de philosophie, École Normale Supérieure, Paris. Author of John Rawls (Acumen Press, 2007). 

Website|

Gordon Finlayson

 

 

J|. G. Finlayson|, Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Sussex and Director of the Centre for Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex

Website|

Catherine Audard and Gordon Finlayson discussed the political theories and ideas of Habermas and Rawls, arguably the two most influential political theorists of the 20th Century. They will discuss their famous exchange in 1995, and its legacy, and various other substantive and methodological issues that arise from a comparison of their work. They also examined the relevance of their respective ideas for the politics of today.

 

Peter Hacker in conversation with Severin Schroeder

Wednesday 24 February 2010, 12.30 - 2.00pm
Room NAB 1.15, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

PMS HackerP. M. S. Hacker|, Emeritus Research Fellow, St John's College, University of Oxford  Website|

Severin Schroeder|, Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University of Reading

There are few people who can be said to have provided an interpretation of a great work of philosophy that has significantly shaped its reception. Through his own research and in work developed in collaboration with his former colleague Gordon Baker, Peter Hacker's writings on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations have done that. Having achieved the status of what is sometimes called the 'orthodox' interpretation of Wittgenstein's philosophy, he has provided by far the most comprehensive and in-depth work of Wittgenstein scholarship to date, including a four-volume commentary on the Philosophical Investigations that has influenced a generation of readers. Through his meticulous textual readings and crystal clear interpretations of the pivotal ideas and arguments involved in Wittgenstein's conceptual investigations, Peter Hacker, perhaps more than anyone else, has provided a point of departure for an assessment of Wittgenstein's work that cannot be ignored. This dialogue reflected on his career in philosophy and his distinctive approach to Wittgenstein.

 

Modernity and the Meaning of Life

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Monday 18 January 2010, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Simon GlendinningSimon Glendinning|, Reader in European Philosophy, European Institute, LSE and Director of the Forum for European Philosophy Website |

Edward Skidelsky

 

 

 

 

Edward Skidelsky|, Lecturer, Department of Sociology & Philosophy, University of Exeter Website|

"Unless we are Marxists, we are more resistant [today] than the eighteenth- or nineteenth-centuries knew how to be [to] attempts to locate the meaning of human life or human history in mystical or metaphysical conceptions-in the emancipation of mankind, or progress, or the onward advance of Absolute Spirit. It is not that we have lost interest in emancipation or progress themselves. But whether temporarily or permanently, we have more or less abandoned the idea that the importance of emancipation or progress (or a correct conception of spiritual advance) is that these are marks by which our minute speck in the universe can distinguish itself as the spiritual focus of the cosmos". (David Wiggins, "Truth, Invention and the Meaning of Life" in Needs, Values, Truth. Oxford: Balckwell, 1097, 91)

Appreciation of the contemporary secularity of the West goes hand in hand with comparisons which contrast it with a life lived naively within a theistic construal. In contemporary Western societies a theistic construal is no longer the default position. Our thinking and believing has its societal default in a world-picture that does not have the general belief in God and a Divine Purpose at its centre. The worry is that this leaves us leaving lives with no sense of purpose at all.

In this dialogue Edward Skidelsky and Simon Glendinning examined the resources left for us to affirm a meaning or value to our lives in modern or postmodern times.

 

 

Fiction and Reality: Writing Novels in a World Weirder Than Anything You Could Make Up

 

 

Lionel ShriverThis event is jointly organised with Standpoint| magazine

Thursday 5 November 2009, 6.30-8.00pm
 
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

Listen to the podcast|

Lionel Shriver|, Novelist and journalist Website|

In conversation with Daniel Johnson|, Editor of Standpoint

 

Lionel Shriver is a novelist and has written for The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Enquirer, and The Guardian. Born in the US, Shriver has lived in Nairobi, Bangkok and Belfast. She is married to a jazz drummer and is based in London and New York. Her seventh novel, the Orange prize-winning We Need to Talk About Kevin, explored the challenges of contemporary motherhood and the spiritual burdens of contemporary childhood through a remarkable story of a Columbine-style school massacre. Shriver has a monthly column in Standpoint.

 

 

Darwin and Philosophy

Listen to the podcast|

Thursday 25 June 2009, 6.30-8.00pm
 
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

David PapineauDavid Papineau, Professor of Philosophy,
King's College London

Website|

 

 

 

Tim LewensTim Lewens, Lecturer, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

Website|

Darwin was primarily a biologist rather than a philosopher, but his work has changed the way we think about many central philosophical issues. Tim Lewens| and David Papineau| discussed the bearing of Darwin's work on such topics as the origin of life, the human mind, the nature of knowledge, and the foundations of morality, and assessed the extent to which Darwinian thinking is essential to a satisfactory understanding of human nature.

 

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Twenty Years On

This event is jointly organised with Standpoint magazine

Tuesday 28th April 2009, 6.30-8.00pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

Listen to the podcast|

Nick Cohen, Journalist, author, and political commentator

In conversation with Daniel Johnson, Editor of Standpoint

In the twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, socialism has been in hibernation - yet Britain has lived through its longest period of left-wing government. Nick Cohen|, author of Waiting for the Etonians (Harper Collins, 2009), discussed the future of the Left with Daniel Johnson|, the Editor of Standpoint.

 

Jean-François Lyotard's 'The Postmodern Condition

 

Thursday 12 March 2009, 12.30-2pm
Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Jean-Francois Lyotard

 

 

 

Miguel Beistegui|, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick

Robert Eaglestone|, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought, Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London

 

 

 

 

In 1979 a short book was produced at the request of Conseil des Universites of the government of Quebec. In the introduction the author distinguished 'the philosopher' from 'the expert' and said 'the latter knows what he knows and what he does not know: the former does not. One concludes, the other questions - two very different language games. I combine them here.' Jean-François Lyotard's book was later translated into English under the now famous title The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. To mark the thirtieth anniversary of its publication, we held this special Dialogue, not on a thinker but on a text, in order to undertake an appreciation of Lyotard's conception of the postmodern condition, as presented in his extraordinary book, thirty years on.


Michael Tanner in conversation with Sebastian Gardner

Thursday 12 February 2009, 12.30-2pm
Room NAB1.04, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Michael Tanner|, Fellow and University Lecturer in Philosophy, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

In conversation with Sebastian Gardner|, Professor of Philosophy, University College London

Michael Tanner was educated in the RAF and at Cambridge University, where he is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College and a Lecturer in Philosophy until 1997. He is equally interested in philosophy, music and literature, his particular areas being Friederich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. He has written for many journals, contributed 'The Total Work of Art' to The Wagner Companion, ed. P. Burbridge and R. Sutton (London: Faber and Faber, 1979) and is the author of Nietzsche (OUP 1995), Wagner (HarperCollins 1997) Schopenhauer: The Great Philosophers (Routledge 1999)

 

Nietzsche in English

NietzscheIt is 100 years since Nietzsche's work was first translated into English. To mark this rather odd centenary we held two special Dialogues on Nietzsche's arrival in Britain. Since there is obviously more than one such arrival (and, despite the English tendency to monolingualism, he will have begun to arrive before anything was translated) we wanted to open the discussion to that variety; both to different kinds of receivers and to the idea of that variety. On the other hand, Nietzsche was clearly hostile to representations of an individual (particularly himself) which reduced him or her to a mere place-holder or spokesman for a generally-held view. Our dialogists each has distinctive and interestingly different takes on and routes into and out of Nietzsche, and they were invited to speak for themselves. We covered a variety of themes, including perspectivism, the death of God, nihilism, genealogy and the superman.

Thursday 20 November 2008, 12.30-2pm

Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Christopher Janaway|, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He is the author of numerous publications including Beyond Selflessness: Reading Nietzsche's Genealogy (OUP, 2007) and Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2002).

In conversation with Ken Gemes|, Reader in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of 'Nietzsche's Critique of Truth', reprinted in Oxford Readings in Philosophy: Nietzsche, edited by B. Leiter and J. Richardson (OUP, 2001) and 'Post-Modernism's Use and Abuse of Nietzsche' (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52, 2001).

Friday 31 October 2008, 12.30-2pm

Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Stephen Mulhall|, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at New College, Oxford. He is the author of 'Nietzsche's Genealogy of Humanity' (Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 66, 2004) and Philosophical Myths of the Fall (Princeton, 2005).

Douglas Smith|, French and Francophone Studies, School of Languages and Literatures, University College Dublin. He is the author of Transvaluations: Nietzsche in France 1872-1972 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996) and of the translation of Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals (Oxford: OUP World's Classics, 1996)

 

The Legacy of Frank Sibley

Thursday 5 June 2008, 12.30-2pm

Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Elisabeth Schellekens|, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Durham University

Peter Lamarque|, Professor of Philosophy, University of York.

This dialogue centred around the work and legacy of the late Frank Sibley, arguably the first philosopher to bring the methodology of analytic philosophy to Aesthetics. Sibley shaped many of the questions and set the agenda that analytic philosophers working in Aesthetics are still pursuing today. Themes for discussion in this dialogue included the way in which one can and/or should distinguish between aesthetic and non-aesthetic experiences and properties; what aesthetic taste and sensibility really amounts to and what role they play in aesthetic experience; and the possibility of justifying aesthetic judgements. The role of Frank Sibley's work in contemporary Analytic Aesthetics was also assessed.

 

Jonathan Glover in conversation with Alan Ryan

Thursday 13 March 2008, 12.30-2pm
Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Jonathan GloverJonathan Glover, Professor of Ethics and Director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics at King's College London. For many years he was a Fellow of New College, Oxford.

In conversation with Alan Ryan, Professor of Politics, Princeton University (1988-96) and currently Warden of New College, University of Oxford.

Jonathan Glover| is currently working on ethical and philosophical issues in psychiatry. As part of a project of developing an interpretative psychiatry, he interviewed patients in Broadmoor with a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, trying to work out how they think about morality. Another current project is to bring philosophy, especially epistemology, to bear on the ideological conflicts of our divided world. He believes that two thousand years of philosophical discussion about what there is or is not good reason to believe should have something to contribute to discussion between adherents of different belief systems. A sceptic about the world's need for philosopher-kings, he thinks philosopher-mediators might play a useful role in avoiding the "clash of civilizations". Jonathan Glover teaches at King's College on the MA in Medical Ethics and Law, and on the MA in Human Values and Contemporary Global Issues. His books include Causing Death and Saving Lives (Pelican, 1977), What Sort of People Should There Be? (Pelican, 1984) Humanity, A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (Jonathan Cape, 1999 and Yale University Press, 2000), and Choosing Children: Genes, Disability and Design (OUP, 2006).

 

The Legacy of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de BeauvoirThursday 14 February 2008, 12.30-2pm
 Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Stella Sandford, Principal Lecturer in Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Programmes, School of Arts and Education, Middlesex University.

In conversation with Kimberly Hutchings, Professor of International Relations, LSE.

In the year of the centenary celebrations of her birth, this dialogue will explore a variety of inter-connected themes from the work of Simone de Beauvoir. Beauvoir's work is notable for its wide range across a variety of genres, encompassing philosophical essays and books, political journalism, fiction (in particular novels), autobiography, travel writing and letters (not to mention the great, unclassifiable texts The Second Sex and Old Age). Her oeuvre is unified, however, by her philosophical approach, her attempt to see all of the world 'through philosophical eyes'. Kimberly Hutchings| and Stella Sandford| will discuss the enduring themes and issues in Beauvoir's work, as well as topics particular to certain of her writings, including: existential humanism and its ethical and political elaboration; ambiguity; sex and gender; sex and sexuality; self and other and old age. The question of Beauvoir's relation to other philosophers, notably Hegel and Sartre, runs through each of these issues. Finally the participants will reflect on the nature of de Beauvoir's philosophical and political legacies. Stella Sandford is the author of How to Read Beauvoir (Granta, 2006). Kimberly Hutchings has an ongoing interest in Beauvoir's work, in particular her ethical and political philosophy. She is the author of Kant, Critique and Politics (Routledge, 1996), Hegel and Feminist Philosophy (Polity, 2003), and 'Simone de Beauvoir and the Ambiguous Ethics of Political Violence' Hypatia (2007)


Thursday 29 November 2007, 12.30 - 2pm
Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Professor of English at the University of Paris X, Nanterre

In conversation with Alan Montefiore, President of the Forum for European Philosophy

Jean-Jacques Lecercle works in philosophy of language, philosophy of literature and Victorian literature, especially nonsense literature.

He was educated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and has taught most of his working life at Nanterre, with a period of three years (1999-2002) as Research Professor at the University of Cardiff.

He is the author of The Violence of Language (Routledge, 1991), Philosophy of Nonsense (Routledge 1994), Interpretation as Pragmatics (Macmillan, 1999) Deleuze and Language (Palgrave 2002), The Force of Language (with Denise Riley, Palgrave 2002) and A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Brill, 2006).


Wednesday 26 September 2007, 12.30 - 2pm
Room J116 (Cañada Blanch Room), Cowdray House, European Institute, LSE

Ruben ApressyanRuben Apressyan, Professor, Head, Sector of Ethics, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences and Chair of Ethics, Moscow State University Website|

Abdusalam Gusseinov, Professor, Full Member of Russian Academy of Sciences, Director, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences and Head, Chair of Ethics, Moscow State University

In conversation with Alan Montefiore, President of the Forum for European Philosophy

Ruben Apressyan is the author of a number books and numerous articles on the history of moral philosophy, moral theory, philosophical issues of science, politics, education, philanthropy, and love.

Since the end of the 1980s he has been involved in nonviolence studies and during ten years was a Director of the Research and Education Center for the Ethics of Nonviolence. 

In 2003 he established an independent Center for Applied and Professional Ethics to promote the development of Applied Ethics studies.  Since 2004 he has been a member of the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology.

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