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

worlds edge 3
At the World's Edge
Fantasy, fiction, and desire

Fantasy tales are often seen as peripheral to culture, with little to contribute to our lives beyond throwaway entertainment. Is this an error? Might fantasies be central to how we perceive the world, and even gesture towards the limits of our understanding?
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?
philosophy bites back 2
Philosophy Bites Back
Has physics made philosophy obsolete?
Has physics made philosophy obsolete?

From neuroscience to cosmology, Hawking to Dawkins, many argue science can do away with philosophy. Yet science is replete with philosophical  puzzles. Should we see science as one metaphysics amongst others? Or is this to swap the megalomania of science with that of philosophy?
gathering storm
The Gathering Storm
Russia, China and the New World Order
Russia, China and the New World Order

China may be on the way to replacing the US as the world's dominant economic power, but with Russia also growing its reach, could the future be more dangerous still? Do we face an uncontainable multipolar world with many nations vying for power? Or should we applaud a break from US global dominance and look forward to a more equal future?
free will 3
The Chemistry of Freedom
Is free will an illusion?

The cry of democrats and revolutionaries, we value freedom above almost anything. But neuroscientists claim they can predict decisions seven seconds before we act. Might free will be an illusion? Do we need to reimagine what it means to be human, or does freedom win over bad science?
195 Machiavellis Rules
Machiavelli's Rules
Dirty tricks in British politics

By endorsing trickery and deceit, Machiavelli ensured his name would live on in infamy. Yet even Lincoln and Johnson used skulduggery to secure change. Might lies, bribes and other dirty tricks be necessary for creating meaningful advance? Or do the ends never justify the means?
The Establishment
Speakers: Owen Jones
Owen Jones

Following the critically acclaimed Chavs, the Guardian columnist unleashes a powerful attack on the British Establishment. "Superb" Polly Toynbee, Guardian
out of darkness
Out of Darkness
Is our understanding of black holes fundementally wrong? Presenting ground breaking new research, Laura Mersini-Houghton explains why event horizons and singularities might simply be a myth.
When Women Rule
Categories: Culture & Sexuality
Speakers: Diane Abbott, Niamh Corbett, Helena Cronin
Do women make better leaders?

From the boardroom to politics we look to increase the representation of women. But if women were dominant what impact would it have? Might women be best suited to 21st century culture and create a productive economy and less conflictual politics? Or is this utopian and sexist nonsense?
47 Beyond Good and Evil
Beyond Good and Evil II
Is morality instinctual?

We think morality is unique to being human. Yet the animal kingdom has many examples of behaviour that appear moral, but which we describe as instinct. Might our own morality be instinct also? Does this extricate morality from religion, or condemn it to irrelevance?
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