The Modern Mind (Forum)

16 June 2021|

The Modern Mind

We trace the development of our modern ideas about the mind, from the highly influential work of Descartes and the impact of Darwinian evolution to more recent accounts of the ‘extended’ mind and the enhancements made possible by new technologies. Why is Descartes so important? What changed with Darwin? And in what ways have technological advances […]

Who’s a Good Boy? (Forum)

27 May 2021|

Who’s a Good Boy?

Do non-human animals have morals? Can chimpanzees tell right from wrong? Do dolphins think about what they ought to do? And can a dog really be good? Recent scientific work can shed light on these issues, but they also take us to the heart of two great philosophical questions: what does it mean to […]

The Importance of Not Being Earnest (Forum)

20 May 2021|

The Importance of Not Being Earnest

We explore what’s philosophically interesting about comedy. Both have a lot in common: showing up the ordinary as odd, critiquing the status quo, hecklers… But can humour be a source of knowledge? What does it tell us about how we interact with one another? What role does it play in our social […]

Not Suitable for Work (Forum for Philosophy)

30 March 2021|

Not Suitable for Work

When it comes to work, is less more? Bertrand Russell wrote that ‘immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous’. In more recent times, organisations from Microsoft to the Wellcome Trust have experimented with a four-day week, and advocates argue that shorter working weeks will solve everything from unemployment to […]

Resilience (Forum for Philosophy)

30 March 2021|


‘Resilience’ has become a buzzword, beloved of pop psychologists and workplace well-being programmes. But it also has an older history that includes the Stoics and Schopenhauer. So how do we foster resilience? Or should we foster it at all? Does a culture of resilience deny vulnerability and inequalities, or is it a practical way to cope […]

Misinformation (Forum for Philosophy)

4 February 2021|



Information may be power, but misinformation appears to be usurping the throne. From COVID-19 to QAnon, misinformation is more ubiquitous and more dangerous than ever. But why is it so much more attractive to so many? Are there factors that make misinformation more (or less) likely to be believed? What draws people into the world of conspiracy […]

The Musical Mind (Forum for Philosophy)

4 November 2020|


The Musical Mind (Forum for Philosophy)

Music is thought to have played an important role in human evolution, but how far back does it go? What role did it play in the evolution of the mind? Does music today have anything in common with music in prehistory? And is the ability to hear music uniquely human or something we share with […]

Anti-vaxxers & Other Sceptics (Forum for Philosophy)

28 October 2020|


Anti-vaxxers & Other Sceptics (Forum for Philosophy)

Will a future COVID vaccine be undermined by anti-vaxxers? What are the causes of declining vaccination rates? Why does this medical scepticism persist, and how might it be tackled? Or might there be times when scepticism is justified? And if so, how are we to determine when we should and when […]

On Time (Forum for Philosophy)

20 October 2020|


On Time (Forum for Philosophy)

‘Time is a big invisible thing that will kill you’, wrote philosopher Craig Callender. It also affects all aspects of our lives, from the political to the very nature of our experience. As lockdown made clear, it can be agonizing to be in a state of limbo, to have routines disrupted, unable to […]

Nature/Nurture (Forum for Philosophy)

7 March 2020|



Nature/Nurture (Forum for Philosophy)

Scientists agree that nature and nurture are essential ingredients in human development. But if both the blank slate and genetic determinism have been rejected, why do researchers still disagree and what is it that they disagree about? Join us as we’ll explore the issues at stake, taking a wide variety of perspectives, from the […]