Department Blog

AI, invertebrates, and the risk of living absurdly

27 March 2023|

In our latest blog article Jonathan Birch talks about his life as a researcher and reflects on the questions: What can we do to reduce the risk of living absurdly? And should we want to?

I. Absurdity

Imagine you’re the UK Health Secretary during the worst pandemic in a century, signing your name under the most restrictive public health rules […]

What’s the Point of Protest? A Reply to Parry

9 March 2023|

Last month, we published the blog article ‘What’s the Point of Protest’ by Jonathan Parry. His work didn’t go unnoticed.

In a recent post my friend Jonathan Parry considers the question of whether political protest can be valuable, even when it is ineffective at changing government policy. He offers the example of the 2003 London demonstration against the […]

What’s the Point of Protest?

15 February 2023|

What is the point of protest? What makes a protest successful? Jonathan Parry explains the value of protesting.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the anti-war protests against the invasion of Iraq. The centrepiece demonstration involved an estimated 1.5million people marching through the heart of London, with parallel protests across the country (and […]

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    Social norms, contractualism and public policy: How gender affects epidemiology

Social norms, contractualism and public policy: How gender affects epidemiology

29 March 2022|

How do social norms influence the effectiveness of public policy, and what are the moral, political and philosophical implications of taking social norms seriously? Elsa Kugelberg looks at the effect of gender norms on health policy.

What else is ending and what is beginning?

16 March 2022|

What does the future hold for analytic and experimental philosophy? Petr Jedlička looks at current research methods and asks where the next generation of philosophers might lead us.

Philosophy and Neurodiversity

2 March 2022|

What is neurodiversity, and what does it mean for philosophy? Sam Crutcher explores how “divergent worldviews” shape philosophical insight and discussion.

The devil’s in the framing: language and bias

8 February 2022|

How we say things can be as important as what we say. In this post, Ella Whiteley explores the “framing effect” and its implications for discussions of sex and gender.

The dangers of single metric accounting in public policy

26 January 2022|

How should policy-makers measure the impact of far-reaching policies? Johanna Thoma looks at some of the issues involved in relying on a single metric.

How to respond to Omicron: lessons from Alpha

7 December 2021|

When advisors warned of “significant concerns” about the Alpha variant, the UK government acted quickly. But suspicions about Alpha’s greater transmissibility were first noted a week earlier. Jonathan Birch suggests that when the stakes are so high, even low confidence in a particular outcome can be enough to justify policy interventions.

In the Name of Europe

24 August 2021|

How should philosophical writing employ the first-person plural, “we”? Simon Glendinning reflects on his recent work on the philosophy of Europe.