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

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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?
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?
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?
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?
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The Great God Pan
The splendour of nature

For Hamlet, the purpose of art is to hold the mirror up to nature. Yet a mirror, however fine, is never as impressive as the thing itself. Is the wonder of the natural world always richer than the power of the imagination? Or does creativity have a greater magic to offer?
Masters of the World
Is the universe mathematical?

For Euclid and Pythagoras, mathematics was the secret language of reality. Yet Godel demonstrated that mathematics ends not in mastery of the world but in the quagmire of paradox. Might mathematics be a metaphor for the world? If so, does this open limitless possibilities for science or is it a crisis in the making?
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The Death of God and the War On Terror
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Speakers: Terry Eagleton
How did the death of God give birth to Western capitalism and the religious fundementalism 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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Authenticity is a Con
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Categories: Ideas & Ideology
Speakers: Peter York
From Oprah Winfrey to Nigel Farage, everyone wants to “tell it like it is”. Sloane Ranger Handbook author Peter York reveals why the quest for authenticity is just a cheap way to make a fast buck.
Heresy, Truth and the Future
Challenging the status quo

From Socrates to Galileo to Darwin, the venerated were once persecuted heretics. Yet we remain tribal in our judgments. Should we quell our prejudice and advocate heresy in philosophy, science and culture or is the status quo and tradition the only guarantee of quality?
177 Fantasies and Lies
Fantasies and Lies
The myths we live by

Myth and fantasy are the stuff of fiction.  They are not meant to be the stuff of real life. Yet are we not all victim to our own fantasies? Might myths be essential to our motivation and success and more broadly reality be woven in with fantasy? Or is this to demean everyday life and make of it a lie?
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