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Being Alone (the Forum)

24 January 2018, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

‘Hell is other people’, noted Jean Paul Sartre—rather rudely, it might seem to an outside observer. But is the pursuit of philosophical understanding an inherently solitary pursuit by its nature? From Augustine to Kant, philosophy has cherished the image of the deep thinker immersed in solitudinous reflection. But how does solitude differ from loneliness? And in an age of increasing social atomization, can we think about our lonely condition in ways that might allow us to overcome it? We explore the idea of loneliness as an aesthetic and socio-political phenomena, as well as an existential question.


John Burnside
Professor in Creative Writing, St Andrews University
Poet and novelist, winner of both the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award

Barbara Taylor
Professor of Humanities, Queen Mary, University of London

James Warren
Professor of Ancient Philosophy, University of Cambridge


Shahidha Bari
Fellow, The Forum
Senior Lecturer in Romanticism, Queen Mary, University of London


24 January 2018
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
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Sheikh Zayed Theatre
New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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