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November 2014

Food Policy: ethics for your kitchen and beyond

4 November 2014, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
New Theatre, East Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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You love it, you need it. But food production and consumption are changing fast. What are the ethics and policy issues on your dinner plate today? What does it mean to be healthy or sustainable? Do we need new food policies, and if so, which ones? Come join the discussion with: Luc Bovens, Professor of Philosophy, LSE Elena Rivilla Lutterkort,…

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Adam Swift (Prof. of Political Theory; University of Warwick): Ethics Matters in the Family

13 November 2014, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Ethics Matters in the Family Thursday 13 November; 6.30

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December 2014

John Broome (University of Oxford): Ethics Matters in Climate Change

1 December 2014, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Climate change is a moral problem. Through our emissions, each of us causes harm to others - something that generally we should not do. Some people are already suffering great harm from climate change. What should we do to remedy the situation? A solution can be achieved only through the coordinated actions of governments, and difficult ethical analysis is required…

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Benjamin Noys (University of Chichester): Accelerate Europe – the geographical imaginaries of accelerationism

4 December 2014, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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How can we imagine a way out of the stasis of a Europe mired in financial crisis? The proponents of ‘accelerationism’ argue the need to embrace forces of abstraction and technology that can escape ‘old’ Europe. In this talk, Benjamin Noys will critically explore these alternative geographical imaginaries as attempts to come to terms with the ‘uneven’ forms of capital…

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Questions of Identity: Vincent Descombes (University of Chicago & School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris), Alan Montefiore (University of Oxford & FEP)

11 December 2014, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Questions of Identity Thursday 11 December, 6.30-8pm Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Vincent Descombes, Visiting Professor of French Literature, University of Chicago and Director of Studies, School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris Alan Montefiore, Emeritus Fellow, Balliol College, University of Oxford and President of the Forum for European Philosophy Chair: Danielle Sands, Lecturer in Philosophy, Royal Holloway,…

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January 2015

Peter Dennis (LSE): What Is Rationality, Anyway?

13 January 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Appeals to rationality are found in every area of life. We all aspire to be rational, and criticise others when we think they’re being irrational. But how can we accuse one other of being irrational if we don’t know what it is? In this lecture, Peter Dennis will consider what rationality is—and why we need it. Peter Dennis, LSE Fellow,…

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Is the Brain a Predictive Machine?

15 January 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Is the world you are experiencing a mere forecast created by your brain? Research in neuroscience has suggested that you don’t see the colour of the sky but you anticipate its blueness and use your sense of vision to adjust this prediction. This radical idea explains how your brain can be one step ahead of reality, but also susceptible to…

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February 2015

Simon Blackburn (Cambridge) & Pascal Engel (Geneva): On Truth

2 February 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Realists take truth to be a robust property of our thoughts and assertions, one which fits certain facts in the world. Deflationists, expressivists and pragmatists disagree: for them truth is a very shallow notion, which comes down to a few (important) trivialities. The view one takes on truth has important consequences for all sorts of issues, in particular for moral…

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Onora O’Neill (Cambridge) & Jonathan Wolff (UCL): On Informed Consent

9 February 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
New Theatre, East Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Informed consent is not the most fundamental ethical standard, but a means of securing respect for other, more basic standards or aims. It is neither possible nor required when public goods – such as sound currency or clean air – are to be provided. Where it is possible and can be required, as in transactions with individuals, it must be…

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Simon Glendinning (LSE): Philosophy, the Public and Other Subjects

10 February 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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50 years ago Professor Glendinning gave an inaugural lecture arguing for the abolition of inaugural lectures. His failure allows his son to return to this theme. This lecture will explore whether philosophy’s distinctive and historic relation to something like an inaugural public pledge to speak publicly points towards a conception of the professor in general as someone who, working in…

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Forum for European Philosophy LSE Literary Festival lecture: The Soul of the Marionette: a short inquiry into human freedom

25 February 2015, 7:00 pm8:30 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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John Gray draws together the religious, philosophic and fantastical traditions that question the very idea of human freedom. We flatter ourselves about the nature of free will and yet the most enormous forces - biological, physical, metaphysical - constrain our every action. Many writers and intellectuals have always understood this, but instead of embracing our condition we battle against it,…

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Forum for European Philosophy LSE Literary Festival discussion: The Human Age? Art and Identity in the Anthropocene

28 February 2015, 11:00 am12:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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The controversial designation “Anthropocene” names a geological epoch in which the planet has been irrevocably changed by human activity. In this panel, three thinkers consider the ways in which the Anthropocene requires us to reconsider both human self-identity and the human capacity for creation and destruction. Is art a narcissistic reflection of human concerns and desires or might it provide…

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Forum for European Philosophy LSE Literary Festival discussion: Is There Life in the Novel of Ideas?

28 February 2015, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Is the 'novel of ideas' an outdated genre or are we witnessing its resurgence? What answers can it offer to twenty-first-century questions? In this panel three speakers will discuss examples of the 'novel of ideas' and assess the genre's contemporary relevance. Peter Boxall is Professor of English and Deputy Head of the School of English at the University of Sussex.  His research…

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March 2015

John Dupré (Exeter) & Gina Rippon (Aston): Gender and the Brain

2 March 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Are there ‘hardwired’ psychological differences between men and women? Do these alleged differences show that gender differences in society have a biological explanation? And what does talk of ‘hardwiring’ even mean? In this interdisciplinary dialogue, philosopher John Dupré and cognitive neuroscientist Gina Rippon will debate these and other issues concerning the science and philosophy of gender. John Dupré is Professor…

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Kimberley Brownlee (Warwick): On Civil Disobedience

5 March 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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When is it permissible to resort to civil disobedience? Do we sometimes have a moral duty to do so? Should we be punished for it? Kimberley Brownlee is Associate Professor of Legal and Moral Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEcivildisobedience

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April 2015

Is Politics Based on Morality? (Forum for European Philosophy ‘Ethics Matters’ dialogue)

27 April 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
New Theatre, East Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Is politics the instrument of moral ideals and values? Is it something like ‘applied morality’? In recent years there has been a revival of approaches which give greater autonomy to distinctively political thought, which can be called ‘political realism’, in contrast to ‘political moralism’. The panel discussion will explore this contrast, and ask whether political legitimacy is ultimately a question…

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May 2015

Evolutionary Benefits of False Beliefs? (Forum for European Philosophy “Consilience” dialogue)

5 May 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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The human mind produces countless biases, illusions and predictable errors. Are such false beliefs adaptive? Had they evolved for a reason? From overconfidence to the illusion of control, the speakers will argue that false beliefs can provide the individual with an advantage in domains ranging from war and politics to health and finance. But how do such beliefs affect us…

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The Good Life (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

11 May 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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What makes a life good? Is the ‘good life’ a happy life? Does the ‘good life’ name an individual experience or a social goal? In what ways have alterations in our perception of the human changed the notion of human flourishing? In this event, three thinkers will address the meaning and significance of the ‘good life’ today. Amber Carpenter is…

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Belief and Evidence (Forum for European Philosophy dialogue)

18 May 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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The Enlightenment philosopher David Hume tells us that ‘a wise man proportions his belief to his evidence.’ And according to W.K. Clifford, ‘it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient evidence’. But is believing without evidence really wrong, and if so what are we to make of religious beliefs? To answer these questions, we will…

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June 2015

On Free Speech (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

2 June 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Recent events have provoked a public debate about the right to free speech. In a continuation of this debate, we will bring together philosophers and campaigners to examine the philosophical underpinnings of free speech, and how recent events should affect our thinking about it. Lisa Appignanesi, (@LisaAppignanesi) prize-winning writer, novelist, broadcaster and cultural commentator, is Visiting Professor in the Department…

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