Loading Events
Find Events

Event Views Navigation

Past Events

Events List Navigation

December 2017

Time Travel (the Forum)

5 December 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Born of science fiction, thinking about time travel has allowed us to visit possible and lost worlds, and rediscover the past through modern eyes. It also raises big puzzles: If you travelled back in time and killed your grandfather when he was a young man, would you still exist? Would changing the past mean you returned to a different present? What about travelling to the future? Two philosophers and a science fiction writer discuss time travel, and how thinking and writing about it has changed science and philosophy.

Find out more »

LSE Philosophy Holiday Party 2017

5 December 2017, 6:30 pm11:30 pm
The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, LSE, Houghton St
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll and raise money for Mind at the LSE Philosophy Holiday Party feat. The Critique of Pure Rhythm + Student DJs.

Find out more »

Health and Disease: Can the Biostatistical Theory Be Defended? (CPNSS Symposium)

6 December 2017, 1:00 pm4:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Featuring Christopher Boorse (University of Delaware), Daniel Hausman (University of Wisconsin-Madison & LSE) and Elselijn Kingma (Southampton University).

Find out more »

Philosophy, Politics and Economics Conference in honour of Luc Bovens

7 December 2017
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

On 7 December, this conference will bring together scholars from around the world to celebrate the work of Prof Bovens and his contributions to philosophy, politics and economics. Further info is available on the conference webpage.

Find out more »
January 2018

The Philosophy of Race (the Forum)

8 January, 8:00 am5:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Race continues to shape the political, cultural, and economic character of our societies, with communities and resources determined along racial lines. But what is race and why is it so significant? Is it simply another form of social classification grounded in inequality, conflict, and violence? If so, how are we to understand race as a resource for cultural cohesion rooted…

Find out more »

Adam Caulton (Oxford): “Physical entanglement in permutation-invariant quantum mechanics”

8 January, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Attendants may wish to have a look at the related article. Adam Caulton is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Balliol College.

Find out more »

Streaming Consciousness (the Forum)

9 January, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Is it possible to express the richness, variety, and depth of our inner experience, our thoughts and feelings? If so, what is the best way to do it? Should we turn to literature or to philosophy? And what can they teach each other about understanding, expressing, and performing the self? In this event, award-winning novelist Eimear McBride will discuss these…

Find out more »

Mike Otsuka (LSE): “Reciprocity versus Redistribution: The Case of Collective Pensions”

10 January, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Abstract: Pensions involve transfers from those who are young, healthy, able-bodied, and productive to those who are elderly, infirm, and out of work. Are these justified as redistributive transfers between distinct individuals – from those who are lucky to others who are unlucky – in order to eliminate brute luck unfairness? Or are they justified on grounds of reciprocity involving…

Find out more »

Hugh Mellor (Cambridge): “Chances and Conditionals”

17 January, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

In a projected book, "Most Counterfactuals Are False", Alan Hájek infers the truth of its title from the ubiquity of chance. I argue in this talk that he is wrong: the ubiquity of chance does not verify his title: chances do not falsify counterfactuals. Single-case chances are perfectly consistent with determinism, i.e. with hidden variables that make relevant counterfactuals safe (i.e. truth-preserving). Not even indeterminism enables chances to stop these counterfactuals being safe and, for some values of the chances, knowably so.

Find out more »

Culture under Fire (the Forum)

17 January, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, London School of Economics, Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

From the recent destruction of Palmyra and the looting of the National Museum of Iraq, cultural artefacts are one of the many casualties of armed conflict. What exactly is cultural property and whose property is it? How should we weigh its value against other priorities during times of conflict? What risks should be taken to protect it, and who is responsible for rebuilding and restoring when the conflict is over? Our speakers discuss the political and ethical issues around culture in war zones.

Find out more »

LSE PhD Student Session: Silvia Milano & Christina Easton

24 January, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Silvia Milano: “Bayesian Beauty” Abstract: The Sleeping Beauty problem has attracted considerable attention in the literature as a paradigmatic example of how self-locating uncertainty `creates havoc' for standard Bayesian principles of Conditionalisation and Reflection. Furthermore, it is also thought to raise serious issues for diachronic Dutch Book arguments. I show that, contrary to the consensus view, it is possible to…

Find out more »

Being Alone (the Forum)

24 January, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

‘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…

Find out more »

Nicolas Teh (Notre Dame): “Newton-Cartan Theory, Symmetry, and Observers”

29 January, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

In this talk, I will explore several philosophical themes that have recently emerged in the foundations of Newton-Cartan theory (a geometric non-relativistic theory of gravity), especially the status of the theory's "gauge symmetries", the role of symmetry-breaking observer fields in the theory, and the theory's relationship with teleparallel gravity. Part of the material will be based on joint work with Derek Wise and James Read (respectively).

Find out more »

Anneli Jefferson (Birmingham): “Moral self image and moral decision making”

31 January, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Our moral decisions and actions are guided by what we take to be morally permissible and impermissible. In this talk I consider another factor which may affect both our judgment of moral permissibility and our moral conduct, our moral self-image. In particular, I ask whether a positive view of our own moral character traits is conducive to making good moral decisions and acting well. I discuss arguments from self-consistency that support this hypothesis. I then turn to the bias known as the better than average effect, and argue that our need for a positive moral self-image can lead us to be insensitive to evidence that we are acting immorally. The belief that we are morally superior facilitates unwarranted complacency and can lead to warped moral judgment via mechanisms of self-justification. This danger is particularly high when moral self-descriptions and evaluations of behaviour are very abstract. Very concrete moral self-ascriptions on the other hand are likely to have a positive effect. I conclude that while a positive moral self-image can be of limited benefit under tightly circumscribed conditions, it will in many cases be detrimental to moral judgment and conduct.

Find out more »

The Politics of Marriage (the Forum)

31 January, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, 99 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4JF United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Marriage is an odd mix of sex, religion, and politics. Our speakers ask what marriage is and whether there is there any distinctive moral value in it. Should the state promote it? Is it possible to have an ‘equal’ marriage, or is marriage fundamentally an oppressive institution? Should marriage be rejected in favour of civil partnerships, or something else, or perhaps nothing else?

Find out more »
February 2018

Mattia Gallotti (LSE): “Co-Cognition and Social Discourse”

6 February, 2:00 pm3:30 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

When people achieve knowledge of things by sharing mental resources, they think thoughts whose linguistic expression makes salient the use of the first-person plural pronoun, ‘we’. Jane Heal (2013) has argued that considerations about the relevance of acts of shared ('we') intentionality, or ‘co-cognition', suggest that the notion of mentality recommended by (social) anti-individualism ought to be privileged in accounts of psychological knowledge. In this paper, I challenge Heal’s argument by distinguishing two routes to understanding claims about the scope and philosophical significance of acts of co-cognition. Both routes lend credibility to aspects of an anti-individualistic view of the nature of thoughts about others’ minds. However, neither provides decisive support for the conclusion that a 'co-cognitivist' account of psychological concepts provides support for anti-individualism.

Find out more »

Teruji Thomas (Oxford): “The Veil of Ignorance Revisited”

7 February, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

The rough idea of what I call "the veil of ignorance principle" is to identify the moral or "social" point of view with the point of view of a self-interested individual who is uncertain of his or her own identity. In conjunction with expected utility theory (EUT), such a principle was suggested by Harsanyi and others as validating an additive "utilitarian" aggregation rule; more generally, it suggests a systematic correspondence between norms of individual rationality and those of social choice. But it has generally been obscure how to properly formulate this principle, and whether it has any plausible justification.

In this talk, I show how three normatively natural axioms are jointly equivalent to a precise evaluative version of the veil of ignorance principle. I will also explore the resulting correspondence between individual and social evaluation, focusing on two issues. First, it is puzzling that an argument for "utilitarianism" should rely on EUT, since none of the latter's axioms seems central to the utilitarian project. We show that one can go almost all the way using (ex ante) Pareto and (ex post) impartiality instead. Second, I will discuss how basic issues of population ethics correspond, behind the veil, to what I call the "risky existential question": how should one evaluate an individual's prospects when there is only a chance that he or she will exist? Some initially plausible answers to this question generate untenable views in population ethics; perhaps the most plausible package overall validates a general form of total utilitarianism.

Find out more »

LSE PhD Student Session: Chloé de Canson & Bastian Steuwer

14 February, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
+ Google Map

PhD students Chloé de Canson and Bastian Steuwer present their work to the LSE Choice Group.

Find out more »

What Is It Really Like to Be a Bat? (the Forum)

14 February, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

Are bats conscious, and how can we tell? What is it like to use sound to navigate? In a classic paper called ‘What Is It Like to Be a Bat?’, Thomas Nagel used the bat’s capacity for echolocation to introduce philosophical problems concerning conscious experience. But the example is usually discussed in ignorance of what the lives of bats are actually like. This dialogue brings together a philosopher and a bat scientist to discuss the latest research into the minds of bats.

Find out more »

Alex Voorhoeve (LSE): “Pleasure, the Complete Life, and Death” (Inaugural Professorial Lecture)

16 February, 6:00 pm7:00 pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, 99 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4JF United Kingdom
+ Google Map

This inaugural professorial lecture offers a new defence of the Epicurean ideal of the pleasurable life and explains how by following this ideal, we can render death harmless.

Find out more »
+ Export Events