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

13 10 errors lies adventure
Error, Lies and Adventure
Should we embrace our mistakes?

For politicians and journalists, church leaders and chief executives, errors are something to be covered up, ignored or denied. But is this a mistake? Could it be that errors are the source of our inspiration and of future advances - the very stuff of adventure?
mummys litle secret
Mummy's Little Secret
Should we lie to children?

From Father Christmas to the Tooth Fairy, we are charmed by the fantasies we tell our children. Yet we do not condone telling lies to adults. We no longer beat our children; is it time to start telling them the truth as well? Would this create a more honest, open culture, or tarnish childhood?
176 Beyond left and right
Beyond Left and Right
176 Beyond left and right
Categories: Ideas & Ideology
Speakers: Hilary Benn, Michael Howard, Pippa Malmgren, Peter Oborne
The Future of British Politics

Since the French Revolution, the left-right divide has defined the political map. But is it still relevant? Might it be time to abandon the opposition between progressive and conservative politics? Or is it still clear where progress lies and all the more important to seek to bring it about?
the strangeness of force 2
The Strangeness of Force
Do forces really exist?

The laws of science were founded on the idea of force. But Newton's critics argued it was a mystical idea and the Standard model has replaced force with 'interactions'. Does an account of force elude us because it doesn't exist, or are forces essential if we are to explain why anything happens?
mind machines
Mind Machines
The future of AI

40 years on from the film 2001 many of its predictions have come to pass - videophones, flat screens, permanent space stations. Yet we have no equivalent to HAL, the intelligent machine, or anything close. Is it possible that the human mind is a radically different thing from a computer?
pagan gods
Pagan Gods
pagan gods
Categories: Ideas & Ideology
How to save the world

We are concerned about the planet. But why? As well as self-interest, don't we also wish to protect nature for its own sake? Should we openly recognise this pagan attachment to the tree gods? Is this a heresy that offers a better world, or dangerous old/new age nonsense?
the philosophy of style 2
The Philosopher’s Guide to Style
the philosophy of style 2
Categories: Mind & Reason
Speakers: Shahidha Bari
You’re so vain, you probably think this talk is about you. Luckily for you, it is. Shahidha Bari puts a comb through the hair of Kant and freshens up Foucault to work out how philosophy holds up a mirror to ourselves. “Formidable” Times
dante darwin and ethics
Ethics, Darwin and Dante
Oxford philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards uncovers how fundamental beliefs about the nature of the world affect our moral thinking.
lifes secret
Life's Secret
Purpose and the Pursuit of Happiness

Is there a purpose to life? Nietzsche teased "only the English strive for happiness". Are we right to focus on practical goals and abandon any deeper purpose? Or is a goal independent of our everyday pursuits essential to our being?
manufacturing love
Manufacturing Love
manufacturing love
Categories: Mind & Reason
Speakers: Anders Sandberg
Can we outwit evolution to make love last? The Oxford Future of Humanity Institute’s Anders Sandberg explores the science of romance.  
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