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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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What is Enlightenment? (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

3 June 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Is the Enlightenment finished or is it an ongoing project? What does Enlightenment mean in a globalised world? In what ways might the concept of Enlightenment illuminate current issues of European identity, secularisation, and the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’? In this event, three speakers return to Immanuel Kant’s seminal essay ‘Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment?’ in order to address…

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Alienation and Disenchantment (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

9 June 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 fate of our times is characterised by rationalisation and intellectualisation and, above all, by the “disenchantment of the world”’, declared Max Weber in 1917. These themes have occupied Akeel Bilgrami over many years, and his reflections on them have now been brought together in a collection of essays, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment. Bilgrami will be with us to discuss…

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Are We Stewards of the Earth? (Forum for European Philosophy dialogue)

22 June 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Are humans exceptional amongst living beings? How should they understand their relationship with, and responsibilities towards, the natural world? Current ecological crises have led to new conceptions of this relationship, increased focus on human responsibilities, and changing environmental practices. In this panel, two speakers will address both the theoretical questions raised by these issues and assess some of the practical…

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International Cooperation and Climate Change (Philosophy@LSE Panel Discussion)

23 June 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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This event is jointly organised with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE In the wake of the fifth IPCC Report, we know that tackling climate change is crucial for human well-being. So why has the international community been faltering on effective climate action? What prospects are there for improvement at the forthcoming Paris conference? And…

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The Folly of Crowds? (Forum for European Philosophy “Consilience” public discussion)

25 June 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm

Mind sharing, crowdsourcing, online ratings – in our modern world we are constantly exposed to the opinion of the group. We are told that crowds are wise (‘Two heads are better than one’ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) and are cautioned against the madness of the mobs (‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’). When is the crowd wise and when is it prone…

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September 2015

The Nature of Memory: perspectives from art, history and neuroscience (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

29 September 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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Our ability to recall the past is a fundamental feature of what makes us human. While neuroscience has advanced our understanding of memory, how do these insights relate to memory as understood in the classics, literature, philosophy and art? Jessica Bland is Principal Researcher in Policy and Research at Nesta. Sebastian Groes is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the…

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October 2015

A Right to Migrate? (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

6 October 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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Forum for European Philosophy public discussion Most people would agree that we have a right to leave our country of origin. But since leaving one country usually means arriving in another, do we also have a right to immigrate? If so, how can this be reconciled with a state’s apparent right to exclude? We bring together a panel of philosophers…

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Knowledge in the Cloud (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

12 October 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Forum for European Philosophy public discussion As technology and the mind become more integrated, questions arise about how to locate the limits of our mental life. Some philosophers have proposed that mental life extends far beyond the traditional soul or biological brain, and that the same must be true of our epistemic life as well. Our panel will debate this…

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London Under Attack: the moral complexities of WWII bombings (Forum for European Philosophy public lecture)

21 October 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Forum for European Philosophy public lecture In June 1944, London was targeted by German terror bombing. The British War Cabinet faced an ethical dilemma: Should they attempt to use double agents to redirect the raids away from Central London and towards less populated areas? Or should they let events take their course? Ethicist Susanne Burri analyses this real-life wartime dilemma…

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Does Philosophy Have to Be Obscure? (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

28 October 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Forum for European Philosophy public discussion Can complex philosophical ideas be expressed in clear, accessible language? Or is philosophy necessarily obscure and impenetrable for most people? Are some branches of philosophical thought more easily translated into everyday language and others inescapably technical? Are the different branches even capable of speaking to each other, let alone to a non-specialist audience? Should…

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November 2015

Can a Country be Proud of its Past? (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

2 November 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Forum for European Philosophy public discussion Individuals are responsible for their actions, but what about groups of individuals like nations or states? Does membership of these groups make it appropriate to take up certain normative attitudes towards ourselves such as pride, guilt, or shame? And what role (if any) should public acts of remembrance play in maintaining and determining these…

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Art as Knowledge? (Forum for European Philosophy public discussion)

11 November 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Forum for European Philosophy public discussion Plato and Hegel thought of art as inferior to philosophy; philosophers like Aristotle, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche held the arts in high regard. Today, do we think art can address the big questions in life? Do artistic uses of imagination and emotion play a role in acquiring knowledge? And if art leads to knowledge, what…

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How (Not) to Make Everyone Better Off (Forum for European Philosophy public lecture)

23 November 2015, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Forum for European Philosophy public lecture Policymakers often aim for so-called “Pareto improvements” — changes that make at least one person better off and no one worse off. This may sound innocuous, but is it always a sensible idea? Philosopher Anna Mahtani argues that there is more to the notion of a ‘Pareto improvement’ than meets the eye. Anna Mahtani…

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