European Provocations Past Events

In this series we invite thinkers and scholars - thought provokers in their own right - to introduce a short text which has special significance to them.    

Hypotheses on Europe and the Twentieth Century

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Thursday 6 March 2014, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE    

DenisGuenoun

 


Denis Guénoun|,
Professor of French literature, University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)  

 

 

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

How can we understand the twentieth century? In particular, how can we understand the radically new social and political forms that marked history between 1914 and the 1990s? Whereas light has been shed on earlier eras, this period remains difficult to understand. Denis Guénoun offered a conceptual model for interpreting the twentieth century, demonstrating that this history is at the heart of our present.

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Plato between the Teeth of the Beast: Animals and Democracy in Tomorrow’s Europe

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Tuesday 11 February 2014, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

Richard Iveson|, Research Fellow, Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland  

Chair: Danielle Sands|, Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, QMUL and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

How important are animals to the constitution of democracy? In constructing his famous Republic, Plato expressly warns of the dangerous link between the liberation of animals, the uprising of the proletariat, and the founding of democracy. Unwittingly, Plato also reveals that an increased ‘sensitivity’ towards the fate of bonded animals marks an essential first step towards a truly free society. From this starting point, Richard Iveson considered whether the egalitarian entanglement of humans and other animals in fact constitutes the prior condition of any democratic community.  

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Zhang Shizhao: A Forgotten Theorist of Social Change

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Monday 9 December 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

Leighjenco2 


Leigh Jenco|, Associate Professor in Political Theory, Department of Government, LSE  

 

 

Chair: Nick Bunnin|, Institute for Chinese Studies, University of Oxford  

2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Zhang Shizhao, an influential Chinese intellectual most people have never heard of. In this lecture, Leigh Jenco explained why we should care about Zhang, a political theorist who combined liberal and Confucian ideas to think about how individuals can make a difference. Working at a time of unprecedented change in Chinese society, he confronted a dilemma of global importance: How can we act together when no shared space or identity yet exists? 

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Metaphor and Crisis in Freud and Derrida

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Tuesday 26 November 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

NinaMorgan

 

 

Nina Morgan|, Associate Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Studies, Kennesaw State University  

 

 

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

In times of crisis, our understanding often makes recourse to metaphorical expressions of our condition. How (if at all) does this metaphoricity work for us? Whether in dreams, poetry, or philosophy, metaphor and symbols play a powerful role in shaping our experience. A comparison of Jacques Derrida (Athens, Still Remains) and Sigmund Freud (A Disturbance of Memory on the Acropolis), as travellers facing the ruins of Athens, offered insight into the trans-forming work of metaphors.  

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Isaiah Berlin on Two Concepts of Liberty

Tuesday 11 June 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

 
SarahFine

 

Sarah Fine|, Lecturer in 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

In the years since Isaiah Berlin delivered his famous lecture, Two Concepts of Liberty, his argument has been subject to sustained philosophical critique. So why should we continue to read Berlin’s lecture? What do we learn from it? Does it contain positive lessons or only cautionary tales? Sarah Fine argued that its most important lessons are not about the nature of liberty, but about the very discipline of philosophy. 

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Sartre on the Transcendental I

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Tuesday 28 May 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

 JoelSmith


Joel Smith|
, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Manchester

 


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

Sartre's The Transcendence of the Ego, first published in 1937, is a work whose brevity belies its fertility and influence. Ostensibly a critique of Husserl, in fact it sketches out a series of claims that not only set the agenda for much of Sartre’s master work, Being and Nothingness, but continue to provoke contemporary debate. Joel Smith discussed Sartre’s remarks on the unity, transparency and 'impersonal’ nature of conscious experience in both historical and contemporary contexts.  

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Error, Lies and Adventure:

A series of three events that explored the theme of  HowTheLightGetsIn| 2013 - the world’s largest philosophy festival 

The Pursuit of Adventure

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Wednesday 1 May 2013, 6.30-8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

HilaryLawson 

Hilary Lawson|, Director of the Institute of Art and Ideas, non-realist philosopher and author of Closure   

  

 

Steven-Rose

 

Steven Rose|, Neurobiologist, Professor of Biology and Director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group, The Open University   

  

BarrySmith 

Barry Smith|, Professor of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London and Director of the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London

 

 

Chair: Lisa Appignanesi|, writer, novelist and cultural commentator. She is Visiting Professor in English and the Medical Humanities at King’s College London

Since Plato the greatest intellectual adventure has often been thought to be the pursuit of truth. Might there be alternative intellectual adventures? And if so, in what would they consist? Would they be a dangerous threat to hard won insights and the very purpose of thought? This third and final event in the series explored whether the purpose of science, philosophy and indeed life is to uncover the truth, or whether adventures might provide an alternative.  

The Power of Lies

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Thursday 21 March 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE 

 HilaryLawson

 

Hilary Lawson|, Director of the Institute of Art and Ideas, non-realist philosopher and author of Closure   

 

 

Parashkev_Nachev 

 

Parashkev Nachev|, Senior Clinical Research Associate, Institute of Neurology, UCL, and Honorary Clinical Lecturer, Imperial College London     

 

 

JamieWhyte 

 

Jamie Whyte|, Management Consultant, former Times columnist and Cambridge philosopher   

 

 

Chair: Joanna Kavenna|, Orange Award-winning novelist. She has written for the London Review of Books and the Observer

We have seen a gradual erosion of belief in objective truth, but in a world without truth how are we to understand lies? This second event in the series debated the nature of lies and their importance. Are lies necessarily morally wrong, and what is the relationship between lies, power and individual identity?  

Beyond Truth: Error and Adventure  

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Monday 4 March 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

 
HilaryLawson

 

Hilary Lawson|, Director of the Institute of Art and Ideas, non-realist philosopher and author of Closure  

 

 

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

Philosophers have pursued truth, and many have placed truth at the centre of their account of meaning. But might this be a mistake? Could error be at the heart of language, and adventure, rather than truth, be the matter in hand? In the first of three events on the theme, Hilary Lawson argued for a radical reappraisal of the importance of error.   

  

Rousseau and the State of War

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Tuesday 11 December 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

Chris Bertram|, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy, University of Bristol

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

Rousseau’s fragment Principles of the Right of War has recently been reconstructed from various manuscript sources and we now have a coherent text expressing his views about war and so-called 'just war' theory. Here, as elsewhere, Rousseau suspects that the moral principles enunciated by philosophers and legal theorists are just rationalizations for amour propre, power and violence. This lecture argued that in the light of recent wars and ‘humanitarian interventions’, Rousseau’s text is as relevant as ever.
 

Bergson: A Machine for the Making of Gods

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Thursday 11 October, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Keith Ansell-Pearson|, Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick

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

In the conclusion to his book The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932) Bergson states that human beings are now confronted with a special kind of question, namely, whether they wish to go on living or not. We are invited to assume a special kind of responsibility: not simply to decide in favour of 'living' but to make the effort to fulfil the function of the universe and become like gods. This lecture reflected on why Bergson asks these questions and considered their significance for today.  

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Hayek on the Wisdom of Prices

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Tuesday 15 May 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

RichardBronk


Richard Bronk|
, Visiting Fellow, European Institute, LSE and author of The Romantic Economist

 

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

How far was Hayek justified in viewing the price mechanism as a marvel in its capacity to solve the problem of dispersed and incomplete knowledge? As Hayek predicted, the absence of market prices proved devastating to the pretensions of socialist central planning, but the failure of prices to be a reliable guide in the recent financial crisis points to weaknesses in Hayek’s conception.

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The notion of ‘Innate Right’ in Kant’s Doctrine of Right

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|Wednesday 25 April 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE


KatrinFlikschuh


Katrin Flikschuh|
, Reader in Modern Political Theory, Government Department, LSE

 

 

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

What does it mean to have an ‘innate right to freedom’? Is the innate right to freedom a natural right? Is it the role of the state to protect individual freedom rights? The session examined Kant’s remarks on the innate right to freedom of each in the Introduction of the Doctrine of Right, querying recent interpretations of the ‘innate’ as a ‘natural’ right.

 

Hannah Arendt on Political Action

Thursday 10 November 2011, 7 – 8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Photo of UtaStaiger





Uta Staiger|,
Teaching Fellow, Department of History, University College London and Deputy Director, European Institute, University College London

 

A provocative text in her own time, Arendt discussed in The Human Condition (1958) the importance of both 'words and deeds' to generate significance and truly political agency in a democratic public realm.

 

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Marie NDiaye on Blackness, Blankness and Recognition

Thursday 20 October 2011, 7 – 8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Photo of Andrew Asibong



Andrew Asibong|
, Senior Lecturer in French Studies, Co-Director of Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), Birkbeck, University of London

 

'Les Soeurs' is the strange parable of two 'mixed-race' sisters with two very different ways of making sense of the identity that has been thrust upon them. Acclaimed French writer Marie NDiaye dissects the hallucinatory dimension of both sisters' strategies, revealing the pair as a latter-day Justine and Juliette, their odyssey of psychological self-annihilation shaped and inflected by 'race' rather than sex.

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Arendt on Eichmann: Evil as Thoughtlessness

Thursday 16 June, 7 – 8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Gudrun Von Tevenar

Gudrun von Tevenar|
Associate Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

 

 

 

 

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This talk investigates Arendt’s highly controversial claim of evil as ‘banal’ or ‘sheer thoughtlessness’ with the help of her own, very Kantian, theory of judgement. I argue that her theory, though seemingly persuasive, is nonetheless utterly inadequate as an explanation of the facts, thus leading to the conclusion that the evil of Eichmann is neither banal nor caused by or connected with thoughtlessness.

Forgetting History: Poststructuralism and Contemporary Continental Thought

 Thursday 26 May 2011, 7 – 8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Sas Mays

Sas Mays
|Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Critical Theory, Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster

 

 

 

 

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In context of the attempt to surpass poststructuralism in contemporary Continental thought—marked, for example, by Badiou's repudiation of deconstruction as being symptomatic of the endless extension of bourgeois normativity and its indifference to political futurity­—my paper will question whether such a forgetting involves that of a kind of nihilism in Lyotard and Derrida's thought (which has also perhaps been forgotten in a number of supposedly deconstructive trends), which might rather posit différance as differing from such deferral.

 

Walter Pater and the Culture of Europe

Thursday 28 April 2011, 7 – 8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Anthea S Leoussi

Athena S. Leoussi|
Co-Director of European Studies, University of Reading and Visiting Senior Fellow, Government Department, LSE

 

 

 

Read the text|  Classical and Judaeo-Christian civilisations survived and shaped modernity. They provided a matrix of modern European nation formation and of socio-cultural adjustment to modernity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Is it true to claim that 21st-century Western culture is developing outside their orbit?

 

 

Men as they are and Laws as they can be

Thursday 17 March 2011, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Veronique Munoz Darde

Véronique Munoz-Dardé|, Professor of Philosophy, University College London and University of California, Berkeley

 

 

 


 

 

Heidegger on What it is to be Authentic
Thursday 17 February 2011, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7

Denis McManus

Denis McManus|, Reader in Philosophy,
School of Humanities, University of Southampton

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Europe Beyond Citizens' Integration
***CANCELLED***

Thursday 20 January 2011, 7.00-8.30pm Institut Français,
17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London SW7
 Claire Marzo
Claire Marzo, British Academy Fellow,
European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Judt: The Varieties of Europe
Thursday 18 November 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Gwen SasseGwendolyn Sasse|, Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College and University Reader, Department of Politics and International Relations & School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford

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W. G. Sebald on Touch and Tact
Thursday 7 October 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Stephanie BirdStephanie Bird|, Senior Lecturer, Department of German, University College London

Extracts from W. G. Sebald's novel Austerlitz:
Read the text  |(1) Read the text| (2) Read the text| (3) Read the text |(4) Read the text |(5)

 

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Thursday 24 June 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Gerald MooreMarcel Mauss on Gift and Exchange

Gerald Moore, Lecturer in French, Wadham College, University of Oxford

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Thursday 27 May 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Clare ChambersBourdieu on Masculine Domination

Clare Chambers|, University Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

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Thursday 29 April 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Maurice FraserTreason of the clerks: modernists, postmodernists and the delusions of European exceptionalism

Thoughts on the Habermas - Derrida ' Europe manifesto ' of 2003

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.

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Habermas - Derrida ( 2003 ) ' What Binds Europeans Together '|

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Thursday 18 March 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 

Refiguring Citizenship: Rome - Athens - Istanbul
This event was jointly organised with European Alternatives

The status of citizenship may be undergoing a historic transformation, perhaps nowhere more than in Europe. With the increased mobility of peoples, and numerous social and economic developments beyond the level of the nation state, Europe faces a series of new challenges.

Do we need a new form of transnational civic membership? Do we need to rethink civic rights and responsibilities beyond those rooted in the nation state? Do we need to imagine forms of post-national political participation? Can there be a genuinely transnational demos?

These questions do not only affect European citizens. The relations between Europe and the rest of the world and the question of the status of the migrant to Europe, are at the heart of these challenges too.

Kalypso NicolaidisDemos Unbounded: Democracy Beyond the Nation

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Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford and Director, European Studies Centre, St Antony's College, University of Oxford

What are the relationships between democracy and membership? In this discussion we explored the forms of political membership that open up when nationality is not decisive for citizenship.


Thursday 18 February 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 

Engin F IsinCitizenship after Orientalism

Engin F. Isin, Chair in Citizenship and Professor of Politics, Politics and International Studies (POLIS), Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University and Director, Centre for Citizenship, Identities, Governance (CCIG), Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University.

This discussion looked at the understanding of political participation that emerged from the Ottoman Empire. This understanding serves as an interesting and fruitful counterpoint to the Greek and Roman heritage which informs ideas about citizenship and democracy in Europe, and opens up new ways of thinking about political membership.

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Thursday 21 January 2010, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 

Gilbert AchcarCivitas and Empire

Gilbert Achcar, Professor of Development Studies and International Relations, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

The notion of Civitas has links with the nature of Rome as an imperial power. In this discussion we explored the contemporary significance of the historical roots of our ideas of citizenship and civilisation.

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Thursday 12 November 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Shahidha BariOn 'Being and Time': Heidegger, Philosophy and Dying

Shahidha K Bari, Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London

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Thursday 8 October 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Tom SternNietzsche on the Origins of Philosophy

Tom Stern, Department of Philosophy, University College London

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Thursday 18 June 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Fabian FreyenhagenAdorno on How to Live the Wrong Life

Fabian Freyenhagen, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy, University of Essex

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Thursday 28 May 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Eileen JohnSchiller, O'Connor, Paley: On Humour and Moral Influence

Eileen John, Department of Philosophy,
University of Warwick

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Additional Readings| Additional Readings|

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Thursday 30 April 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 

Mike MartinHume on Celebrity Culture

Mike Martin
Professor of Philosophy

University College London

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Thursday 19 March 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7

Pamela AndersonMichèle Le Doeuff: 'Each to her own primal scene'

Pamela Sue Anderson, Regent's Park College, University of Oxford

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Thursday 19 February 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7   

Rupert ReadGramsci and 'The Lord of the Rings': Optimism and Pessimism at a Time of Crisis

Rupert Read, University of East Anglia, Norwich

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Thursday 22 January 2009, 7.00-8.30pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, SW7 

Annabelle LeverCatharine MacKinnon: Is Privacy the Enemy of Equality?

Annabelle Lever, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

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Thursday 13 November 2008
What is European about European Philosophy?

Simon GlendinningSimon Glendinning

Reader in European Philosophy
European Institute, LSE
Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

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Thursday 9 October  2008

Daniel D HuttoWittgenstein: The End of Philosophy?

Daniel D. Hutto
Professor of Philosophical Psychology
University of Hertfordshire

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Marking the death of the great provocateur and re-visionist thinker Richard Rorty we dedicated two parts of our programme to an assessment of his work. Our Provocations series and Re-Visions series were, during the Summer term 2008, on and in honour of his contribution to our philosophical culture

Thursday 19 June 2008

Robert Maximilian de GaynesfordRorty and the End of Philosophy

Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford
Department of Philosophy, University of Reading 

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Thursday 22 May 2008

Norman GerasRorty and the Sources of Moral Solidarity

Norman Geras
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Professor Emeritus in Politics, University of Manchester

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Thursday 24 April 2008
Rorty on the Gallileo / Bellarmine Controversy

James TartagliaJames Tartaglia   Philosophy Programme
 SPIRE, Keele University

Read the text |(1st Part)
Read the text |(2nd Part)
Read the text |(3rd Part)

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Thursday 20 March 2008 
Paul Ricoeur on Mimesis: Futurity in the Distention of [Architectural] Intention

Dorian WiszniewskiDorian Wiszniewski
Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design and Theory
Architecture, School of Arts Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh

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Thursday 21 February 2008
Intensifications: Foucault's Technologies of the Self

Alain PottageAlain Pottage
Reader in Law
Law Department, LSE

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Read the text| (French)

 

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Thursday 24 January 2008
The Fall of Man? Hegel on Man's Relation to Nature

Professor Sean SayersProfessor Sean Sayers
Department of Philosophy, University of Kent

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Read the text| (2nd Part)

 

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Thursday 15 November 2007
Adorno: The Absolute Artwork Meets the Absolute Commodity

Stewart MartinStewart Martin
Lecturer in Modern European Philosophy, Aesthetics and Art Theory at Middlesex University.
Member of the editorial collective and reviews editor of Radical Philosophy


Read the text|
 (1st part)

Read the text| (2nd part)

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Thursday 11 October 2007
Foucault on Sovereignty, Biopower and Law

Anne BarronAnne Barron

Reader in Law
Law Department, LSE

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Thursday 24 May 2007
Nietzsche on The Death of God

Ken GemesKen Gemes

Senior Lecturer, School of Philosophy
Birkbeck College, University of London

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Thursday 26 April 2007
Freud: On Transience

Beverley ClackBeverley Clack

Reader in Philosophy of Religion
Oxford Brookes University

Read the text| (1st page)
Read the text| Sara(2nd page)

 

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