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

Enlightenments Wake 2
Enlightenment's Wake
Enlightenments Wake 2
Categories: Mind & Reason
Speakers: Madawi Al-Rasheed, Christopher Hamilton, Brendan O'Neill
Is the age of reason dead?

Many assume Enlightenment values will triumph over violence and prejudice. But in the wake of ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, victory seems less inevitable and the age of reason less secure. Might history not be on our side after all? Do we need more passion to combat zealotry's allure or will reason alone win in the end?  
ignorance
The Best is to Come
What is the future of art?

"Everything has been written. Everything has been done." So feared Pascal. Yet from perspective to the evolution of cinema, artists have outdone their masters. In art and philosophy is the best yet to come, or as Eliot said "is there only the fight to recover what has been lost and found and lost again?"
risk spirit
Everything and Nothing
Some claim it created the universe. Sartre argued it was central to our Being. Yet Nothing turns out to be strangely elusive. Scientists can't find it or describe it. Bertrand Russell argued it was just a logical mistake. Is Nothing an illusion, a fictitious error? Or is it a vital key to our understanding of the universe and who we are?
grand
Running the World Differently
grand
Categories: Ideas & Ideology
Speakers: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Margaret Hodge, Ritula Shah
What if women were in power?

A world where men and women shared power equally is thought desirable. Yet from Angela Merkel and Mrs Thatcher, to Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg, leading women often appear to behave similarly to men. Is it a fantasy to believe that having women in power will make the world less violent and problematic? Or would it be fundamentally different?
butterfly 2
Unexplained Events
Does everything have a cause and effect?

We assume all events are caused by something. Yet we happily refer to random chance be it a freak accident, or the state of quantum particles. Might causality be a fiction and inexplicable events written into the character of the universe, or with greater understanding could we find an explanation for everything?  Sponsored by BBC Focus Magazine.
StartARevolution
Changing the World
StartARevolution
Categories: Ideas & Ideology
Speakers: Daniel Hodges, Carl Miller, Peter Tatchell
Is activism a failed strategy?

From Tahrir Square to Hong Kong, Occupy Wall Street to Anonymous, we have seen a surge in grassroots and social media activism. Yet the army is in power in Cairo and bankers continue to draw their bonuses. Is activism a failed strategy? Are political parties the only way to drive change or will student and street activism surprise us yet?
Henry 8th 22 cropped
The King's Will
Henry 8th 22 cropped
Categories: Narrative & Reality
Speakers: Suzannah Lipscomb
Mystery and Death in the House of Tudor

Why is Henry VIII's death still mired in scandal? Broadcaster and historian Suzannah Lipscomb uncovers a strange and mysterious truth from the house of Tudor. "Fascinating" Hilary Mantel
alpha man CROPPED
The Fall of the Alpha Leader
alpha man CROPPED
Categories: Culture & Sexuality
Speakers: Margaret Heffernan
Modern life is too fast and complex for powerful individuals to save the day. For CEO and author of Wilful Blindness Margaret Heffernan, poster child leaders are fantasy jobs. "A polemic against the dangers of groupthink" FT  
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The Self and the Selfless
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Categories: Life & The Living
Speakers: John Bird, Oliver Scott Curry, Linda Woodhead
Does true altruism exist?

From personal acts of kindness to charitable gifts to strangers, altruism is seen as a high point of moral virtue. Yet studies suggest altruism is driven by self-interest and personal satisfaction. Does true altruism exist? Is altruism an evolved behavior shared with animals, or can it be pure and transcendental? In association with The Big Issue.
hell forever and ever
Visions of Apocalypse
Is the end always nigh?

The horsemen of the apocalypse held sway for much of Western history. Now from superbugs, to climate change and nuclear war, alternatives have taken their place. Are we entranced by the fantasy of apocalypse? Or at some point will the doomsday clock inevitably strike midnight and end it all?
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