Philosophy@LSE public lectures past events

The academic staff in Philosophy@LSE (comprising the Forum for European Philosophy|, the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method|, the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science| as well as cognate faculty| in various departments) will present aspects of their research that are of interest to a general audience. Students, alumni and the public at large are invited to these public talks and to participate in the discussion.  
 

Justice in Finance

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Tuesday 4 February, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

GabrielWollner 

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

 

 

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

There has recently been much debate among economists and politicians about the idea of levying a tax on particular transactions on international financial markets. Gabriel Wollner contributes to the debate about international financial transaction taxation by bringing the perspective of political philosophy to bear on the politicians’ and economists’ arguments about policy. He develops a framework for thinking about justice in finance and defends the idea of an international financial transaction tax as an instrument for making the international financial system more just. 

 

The Open Society as an Enemy

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Tuesday 3 December 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

JasonAlexander 


Jason McKenzie Alexander|, Professor of Philosophy, LSE  

 

 

Chair: Tali Sharot|, Faculty Member and Director of the Affective Brain Lab, Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, UCL and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

In 1945, Karl Popper published his defence of liberal democracy in The Open Society and Its Enemies. Now, more than seventy years later, we find ourselves living in a time when an unprecedented amount of information about our lives is made public, as well as held by private and governmental organisations. Jason McKenzie Alexander argued that such openness and transparency, instead of supporting the foundations of liberal democracy, in fact undermines it. 

 

Climate Justice vis-à-vis Global Justice

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Tuesday 5 November 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

KatieSteele

 

 
Katie Steele|, Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE 

 

 

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

The key question of climate justice is: Who should accept responsibility for, and bear the costs of, climate change? A further question is whether climate change can be sectioned off as an isolated issue of justice, or whether it is inextricably entangled with broader concerns of global justice. This lecture discussed two different ways of understanding the isolationist approach to climate justice—one focussed on isolating the consequences of responding to climate change and the other focussed on isolating the resource implicated in climate change (commonly referred to as the ‘global carbon sink’). Does either of these isolationist approaches have theoretical and/or pragmatic merit? 

 

Debate: What Are the Core Social-Democratic Values and How Important Are They?

Wednesday 19 June 2013, 6-8pm
Room G.03, Building 32L, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE  

Monika Sie Dhian Ho|, Director of the Wiardi Beckman Stichting

Duncan O’Leary|, Deputy Director of DEMOS

Lea Ypi|, Lecturer in Political Theory, LSE

Lord Glasman|, Labour Peer and Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at London Met

Olaf Cramme|, Director of Policy Network

Throughout Europe, social-democratic parties are re-orienting themselves. This spring, the Dutch Labour party think tank, the Wiardi Beckman Stichting, argued that four values should lie at the heart of contemporary social-democracy: security in the means of existence, good work, personal development, and social cohesion. Their analysis has been influential in the Netherlands and has recently been enthusiastically endorsed by the Dutch Labour Party. But are these really the most important social-democratic ideals? And how important are they compared to other values, such as toleration, personal freedom, and equality? On June 19 2013, at the London School of Economics, the author of the Dutch report, Monika Sie Dhian Ho debated these questions with leading thinkers. The meeting was not party-political and was open to all.   

For more information, contact Alex Voorhoeve| Email: a.e.voorhoeve@lse.ac.uk|  

 Finding your way around LSE

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/mapsAndDirections/findingYourWayAroundLSE.aspx|

  

Synchronic and Diachronic Responsibility

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Thursday 16 May 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

AndrewKhoury

 

 Andrew Khoury|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

 

 

 

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

This lecture distinguished between a person’s moral responsibility for an act at the time of its occurrence and at some later time. This distinction has important implications for our understanding of apology, forgiveness, and punishment. Moreover, it also bears on the debate over whether moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism. 

 

On Responsibility and Justice

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Tuesday 12 February 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

EmilyMcTernan    

Emily McTernan|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

 

 

 

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

Questions of responsibility play a central role within current political debate, particularly regarding the recipients of welfare. At the same time, many political theorists have argued that justice should be sensitive to responsibility. This lecture argued that political theorists presently offer an impoverished account of responsibility. It proposed an alternative analysis of responsibility that accords with our practices, and casts light on the debate over welfare provision.  

 

The Case for the Permissibility of Male Infant Circumcision

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Tuesday 15 January 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

 JoeMazor

 

Joseph Mazor|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

 

 

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

Circumcision has recently come under scrutiny, with some arguing that the circumcision of young children for religious reasons should not be permitted. In this lecture, Joe Mazor made five arguments defending the permissibility of circumcision: First he challenged absolutist claims regarding bodily integrity; second he questioned the harm to the autonomy interest of the child; third he questioned the harm from the reduction in sexual pleasure; fourth he highlighted the benefit of saving the religious child the pain of adult circumcision and fifth he raised a worry about the potential alienation of the child from his religion.
 

Free Will in a Deterministic World?

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Tuesday 4 December 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

ChristianList

 

Christian List|, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, LSE

  

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

Modern science, especially the idea that everything in the universe is physically determined, is often thought to challenge the notion that we, humans, have free will and are capable of autonomously choosing our own actions. Free will is said to be an illusion or an idea that results from wishful thinking. Yet, free will is at the heart of our self-conception as rational agents and of the view that we can be held responsible for our actions. If free will is an indeed an illusion, this could have radical implications for morality and the law. What can be said in response to these concerns? The aim of this lecture was to sketch an argument to the effect that there is room for free will in a world governed by the laws of physics, even in a deterministic world. Free will, it was argued, is an emergent phenomenon that is associated with the organisational complexity of any intentional agent.
 

Managing Uncertainty

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Tuesday 6 November 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

RichardBradley

 


Richard Bradley|
, Professor of Philosophy, LSE

 

 

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

Most of the decisions we take are made under conditions of uncertainty; uncertainty about prevailing environmental conditions, about the consequences of our actions and about the desirability of these consequences. This lecture evaluated attempts at managing this uncertainty, looking at techniques for measuring it and for incorporating it in decision making. 
 

Secession, Legitimacy, and Territorial Justification

Tuesday 6 March 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 



Amandine Catala


Amandine Catala|
, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy,Logic and Scientific Method

 

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

Do secessionists have a valid claim to the territory they are taking? This lecture argued that to answer this question we need to go beyond the question of what makes a state legitimate.

 

The Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Tuesday 24 January 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Foad Dizadji-Bahmani


Foad Dizadji-Bahmani|
, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

 

 

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

Despite being one of our most empirically successful theories, there is still no consensus about how Quantum Mechanics is to be understood. There are various interpretations of it. This talk explored one controversial interpretation, the Many-Worlds interpretation.

 

Rules and Representations: Desire from an Evolutionary Point of View 

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Tuesday 6 December 2011, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

  ArminSchulz|

Armin Schulz|, Lecturer in philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

Chair: Ben Ferguson, LSE

 

 

Many organisms make decisions using only reflexes and drives; some, however, do so by employing explicit representations of their goals. Why would they do this? 

 

Predicting if Your Policy will Work for You: Doing it Better

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Tuesday 1 November 2011, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE 

NancyCartwright|

 


Nancy Cartwright|
, Professor of Philosophy, LSE and University of California, San Diego.

Chair: Ian Hunt, LSE

 

 

Evidence-based policy has been mandate for two decades now. Why isn't it working? Examples discussed included California class size reduction, the Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition programme and various proposals for climate change amelioration. 

Personal Autonomy and Public Authority

****CANCELLED****
Tuesday 4 October 2011,
6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

 

KatrinFlikschuh

 

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

Chair: Esha Senchaudhuri, LSE

 

 

This lecture presented a critical analysis, from a Kantian perspective, of the idea of collective self-legislation as an appropriate basis for thinking about the nature of legitimate public authority. 

 

Buying Low, Flying High: Carbon Offsets and Partial Compliance

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Monday 14 March 2011, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Kai Spiekermann

 

Kai Spiekermann|, Lecturer in Political Philosophy, Department of Government, LSE

Chair: Ben Ferguson, LSE 

 

 

 

 

Many airlines offer their customers to 'offset' the emissions caused by flying. Is it permissible to fly purely for pleasure as long as we buy carbon offsets?

 

  

Climate Forecasting with Chaos, or Chaos in Climate Forecasting?

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Monday 14 February 2011, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Roman Frigg

Roman Frigg|, Reader in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Deputy Director of the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences

Chair: Susanne Burri, LSE

 

Predicting how climate change will affect us is of paramount importance, yet it is beset not only with practical but also conceptual problems. This lecture explored the impact that chaos has on what we can reasonably assert on the basis of climate models.

 

 

The Moral Importance of the Difference between the Unity of the Individual and the Separateness of Persons

 

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Monday 10 January 2011, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Alex Voorhoeve


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

Chair: Esha Senchaudhuri, LSE

 

 

 

Individual lives have a unity that the lives of separate individuals do not. This truism has radical, and not fully appreciated, implications for distributive ethics. This talk explored these implications.

 

 

Rationality in the Social Sciences: Black Box, Empty Box, or Both

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Tuesday 7 December 2010, 6-7.30pm
Room D202, Clement House, LSE

Nicholas Baigent


Nicholas Baigent|
, Professor at the Institute of Public Economics, Graz University and Visiting Professor, LSE; President of the Central European Program in Economic Theory

Chair: Hlynur Orri Stefansson, LSE

Recent examples that claim to challenge rational choice theory were discussed. Among others are: Choosing pieces of cake, pieces of fruit, items from restaurant menus, newspapers and acting with integrity.

 

 

Research in the Humanities: The Very Idea

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Tuesday 23 November 2010, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Dr glendinning


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

Chair: Alice Obrecht, LSE

 

 

 

Valuing the Environment

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Tuesday 9 November 2010, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Eirc Martin

Eric Martin|, LSE Fellow, Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences

Chair: Ben Ferguson, LSE

This presentation discussed some historical and conceptual themes on the topic of valuing the environment. It included philosophical and policy issues associated with affixing monetary worth to environmental goods.

 

 

Evidence: Philosophy of Science meets Medicine

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Tuesday 26 October 2010, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

John Worrall

John Worrall|, Professor of Philosophy of Science, LSE

Chair: Chlump Chatkupt, LSE

 

 

It might seem surprising that there is a relatively new movement called 'Evidence Based Medicine'. Surely medicine - just like any rational pursuit – must be based on evidence! There is, however, devil in the details.

Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) began by making sharp claims about what really counts as evidence that were too simple to be true. Nowadays EBM has developed a much more nuanced view of evidence, but one that is often unclear and lacking in any clear rationale.

The study of the relationship between theory and evidence (more often known as confirmation theory) has always been a central part of philosophy of science. John Worrall argued that some simple principles from this logic of evidence can help towards articulating a defensible version of EBM.

 

Green Social Advertising

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Tuesday 12 October, 6-7.30pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Luc Bovens

Luc Bovens|, Professor of Philosophy, LSE

Chair: Susanne Burri, LSE

 

 

There are various agents in the production of green social advertising-the government, NGOs, advertising agencies-and the objectives of these agents are often not fully aligned. What are the aims and methods of green social advertising? Is it distinct from green nudges? Does it respect the sensitivities and the autonomy of the viewer?

 

 

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