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

conflict to come
The Conflict to Come
America vs China

The great 20th century conflicts were between western powers, and now we see wars between West and East or the West and Islam.  But is the future of conflict radically different? Will the great battle of the 21st century be between China and India, with the West watching from the sidelines?
infinite puzzle
The Infinite Puzzle
infinite puzzle
Speakers: Julian Barbour, Peter Cameron, Laura Mersini-Houghton
Does infinity exist?

The universe is infinite, or so we believe. But might it be a mistake to apply the mathematical concept of infinity to the universe? Would it be more helpful to see infinity as an ineffable notion, or should we accept that mathematics rules?
limits of my world
The Limits of My World
Philosophy's linguistic turn
limits of my world
Speakers: Hilary Lawson, Michael Potter, John Searle
Philosophy's linguistic turn

Language has been the focus of philosophical enquiry for the last century. But was the 'linguistic turn' a wrong turn, leading to a barren discipline without 'real world' influence? Is it time for a fresh approach to the big issues, or would this be a capitulation to intellectual fantasy?
my body my choice
My Body, My Choice
Euthanasia, freedom and the law
my body my choice
Speakers: George Galloway, Philip Graham, Michael Irwin
Euthanasia, freedom and the law

From smoking bans to preventing assisted suicide, the government takes measures to keep us from self-harm. Is this a violation of liberal principles? Should we demand the liberty to damage our own bodies, whether for pleasure or as an escape from pain, or would this undermine the sanctity of human life?
revolutions of knowledge
Revolutions of Knowledge
The future of physics

Newton founded the sciences with physics: the application of mathematics to the world. But just as some scientists claim that a theory of everything is at hand, might our current models be radically flawed? Do we need a new paradigm to make sense of the universe, or are our current models as good as it gets?
cause and the universe
Cause and the Universe
The many-worlds of quantum physics

In everyday life, and in science, we assume that effect follows cause. But could this most basic of beliefs be mistaken? In the 'block universe' postulated by theoretical physics, there is no before and after. Is the arrow of time an illusion and causality a fiction, or is the science simply wrong?
why trolls matter 3
Why Trolls Matter
why trolls matter 3
Categories: Technology & Society
Speakers: Brooke Magnanti
From Pompeii’s graffiti artists to Twitter trolls, The Intimate Adventures of a Call Girl author celebrates the anonymous critics seen as a threat to ‘polite’ society. “[Magnanti is] required reading for all newspaper readers” Guardian
genes cells and brains
Genes, Cells, and Brains
genes cells and brains
Categories: Life & The Living
Speakers: Steven Rose
Where is the brave new world the Human Genome Project promised? Hilary and Steven Rose take on the bioscience industry. “A strong exposé of the hype surrounding genetics and neuroscience” Guardian
Eye Final
The Mind's Eye
The science of consciousness and the soul

For scientists and philosophers the idea of the soul has been out of fashion for two hundred years. But is it on its way back? Can science explain consciousness without it? Who watches the magic show that is experience?
true to myself
True to Myself
Morality, virtues & consequences

Personal integrity is still respected, but it has a Victorian quality, and is less valued in our dissembling age. Might this be a fundamental mistake? Could integrity be a basis for morality in a relative world, or is being true to oneself an anachronism?
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