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

science fiction
Science… Fiction?
The future of science

We think science works because it is true. Yet the theories are different from a century ago and will be different a century hence. Could it be that science is powerful rather than true? Would this lead us to more radical theories or undermine the method that has delivered so many successes?  
end of the universe
To the Ends of the Universe
Do we still need explorers?

Explorers have lost their appeal, tarred with the brush of colonialism and exploitation. Space travel is unfunded and unloved. Have we made a mistake?  Should we regain our sense of adventure and seek new challenges, or is this a male fantasy best consigned to the dustbin of imperial history?  
morality 1
Morality, Hypocrisy and Health
Drugs and Western imperialism

Alcohol and tobacco, largely made in the West and exported to the rest of the world, kill 25 times as many people worldwide as all illegal drugs put together. Could it be that illegal drugs are not banned to protect our health but to protect the West's deadly exports?  Under the guise of morality is the West pursuing an economic goal, or is the war...
leonardo vision
Leonardo's Vision
What can art teach science?

We see art and science as two cultures with their own uniqueways of understanding the world. Yet polymaths from Leonardo Da Vinci to Francis Bacon saw no such distinction. Can scientists learn from works of art, or must the two cultures remain forever sundered?  
mad inc
Madness, Incorporated
Are psychiatric diagnoses real?

From depression to bipolar disorder, we think psychiatric diagnoses are real. Yet many now argue that categories of mental illness have little basis in nature. Is it time to abandon psychiatry and its classifications? Would this usher in a new era of effective health care or cause widespread harm?
space time
Spacetime and the Structure of Reality
space time
Speakers: Carlo Rovelli
Founder of loop quantum gravity Carlo Rovelli heads behind the curtain of spacetime to reveal deeper and more mysterious structures of reality. “A deeply original thinker” Lee Smolin
whats my mind
Where is My Mind?
whats my mind
Speakers: Ted Honderich
Ted Honderich reveals how our consciousness isn’t limited to the inside of our heads. “A courageous swim against the current” Times  
whos left.2
Who's Left?
whos left.2
Categories: Ideas & Ideology
Speakers: Simon Glendinning
As the financial crisis continues, the Left has yet to offer meaningful solutions. Simon Glendinning asks if social democracy is past its sell-by date.  
dreams of universe
Dreams of the Universe
Is particle physics unscientific?

From string theory to the multiverse, the theories of modern physics look increasingly exotic and untestable. But while they may be good for selling books, are they bad science? Do we need a return to empirical experiment, or should imagination be allowed its playground?
The End of Aid
Does foreign aid maintain poverty?

We think aid saves lives. Yet the IMF warns there is no correlation between aid and growth. Might the UK's £11bn maintain the very cycles of poverty it seeks to abolish?  Worse still, is aidjust another name for colonialism?  Or would giving up on aid neglect our responsibility to the worlds poorest?  
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