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Speaker(s): Professor John Burnside,Professor Barbara Taylor,Professor James Warren
Chair: Dr Shahidha Bari

Recorded on 24 January 2018 at Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

‘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 is Professor in Creative Writing, St Andrews University and a poet and novelist, winner of both the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award.

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

James Warren (@JIWarren) is Professor of Ancient Philosophy, University of Cambridge.

Shahidha Bari (@ShahidhaBari ) is a Fellow at The Forum and Lecturer in Romanticism in the Department of English, Queen Mary, University of London.

The Forum for European Philosophy (@ForumPhilosophy) is an educational charity that organises a full and varied programme of philosophy and interdisciplinary events in the UK.

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