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Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers

Terrorism and the Truth
Is the threat real?

From 9/11 to 7/7, terrorist atrocities leave tragedy in their wake. Yet since 2001, 53 people have been killed in the UK by terror attacks.  27,000 have been killed on the roads.  Is terrorism more fantasy than reality? Should we ignore dramatic headlines, end mass surveillance and feel safe?  Or is the threat real and substantial?
lies and necessity
Of Lies and Necessity
lies and necessity
Speakers: Rae Langton, Tom Sorell, Sophie Van Der Zee
Is honesty a fantasy?

We demand honesty as a core value from politicians and lovers alike. Yet small and not-so-small lies have a habit of creeping into our lives. Is it possible to be completely honest - and would it be desirable? Is lying a necessity for life or should we insist on honesty as a means for social cohesion and trusting relationships?
vaprs 2 geometry
After the End of Truth
Beyond Post-Modernism
Beyond Post-Modernism

A generation raised on Foucault and Derrida has learned to distrust claims to objective truth. Yet the mantra that 'there is no truth' is a paradox. Do we need a new conception of fantasy and reality to free us from the tyranny of truthmakers and the paradoxes of postmodernists alike?
queen of hearts2
Desire, Dreams and Happiness
Can we ever arrive?
Can we ever arrive?

Many think wealth, love and fame bring happiness. But Proust warned that while desire makes life blossom, possession makes it wither. Is there more value in desire and aspiration than in arrival? And if so should we seek better dreams and fantasies to enrich our lives?
alec smoking
The Wealth Delusion
Happiness and inequality

Most of us would like to be richer.  But surveys suggest the super rich are no happier than the rest of us and mental disorders and unhappiness increase with inequality.  Do we need a more equal society, and a global tax on wealth, or does wealth benefit us all as a driver of investment and growth?
Making humans
Making Humans
Dawkins’ Selfish Gene has defined how we think about evolution. But now the new science of epigenetics suggests culture and the environment can play a part. Is the age of the selfish gene over? Do we need a new story to replace the survival of the fittest, or is Darwin’s essential insight secure?
climate change3
The Tyranny of Evidence
From climate change to cancer scares we're in love with "the evidence". Philosopher and Green politician Rupert Read wants to end the affair. "A methodology to deal with risks to our planet" Nassim Taleb
Are Hospitals Bad For Us?
We ring-fence NHS spending, and western countries spend ever more on medicine. But a third of all deaths are due to medical intervention and some argue poverty makes a bigger difference than pathogens. Is it a fantasy to believe that medical technology can solve health problems? Should we spend more on social justice and less on hospital medicine?
feeling 3
The Reality of Feeling
Reason and Emotion

From the exhilaration of love to the depths of nihilistic despair, we think emotion clouds our access to the cold hard stuff of reality. Yet Einstein claimed intuition was a sacred gift and the rational mind only its servant. Are feelings a truer guide to reality than reason?
charlie hebdo mohammed cartoon
The Death of God and the War On Terror
charlie hebdo mohammed cartoon
Speakers: Terry Eagleton
How did the death of God give birth to Western capitalism and the religious fundamentalism that thrives under its wing? Terry Eagleton, one of Britain’s most influential cultural critics, reveals the unspoken history of our supposedly faithless world. “Rich and compelling” John Gray
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