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

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?
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.  
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?
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?
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?  
death of sisterhood
The Death of Sisterhood
death of sisterhood
Categories: Culture & Sexuality
Speakers: Alison Wolf
Alison Wolf uncovers the gulf between the lives of the women now taking over business and politics and those pushed back as a result. “A crucial bible for anyone wanting to check up on anything about contemporary woman.” Guardian
morality 1
Morality, Hypocrisy and Health
Drugs and Western imperialism

Alcohol and cigarettes, 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 ...
leonardo vision
Leonardo's Vision
What can art teach science?

We see art and science as two cultures with their own unique ways 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?  
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  
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