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

164 Expert Lies 3
Expert Lies
Power, politics and science

We rely on experts in every field. Yet from economists to climate scientists they hold wildly disparate views. Might the very idea of objective knowledge be illusory and expertise be a form of institutional power? If we were more skeptical would it lead to democracy or bring chaos?
383 The Call of Silence 2
The Call of Silence
383 The Call of Silence 2
Speakers: Emma Borg, Penny Rimbaud, Mark Vernon
The route to understanding

From Cicero to Clinton, Shakespeare to Twitter, eloquence is power. But for some philosophers silence rather than speech is the means to approach the deepest puzzles. Might silence be the route to understanding and a better world? Or is this the reserve of saints, fools and madmen?
59 Beyond Truth and Falsehood
Beyond Truth and Falsehood
What is real?

For a century, logicians have argued that things are either true or false. Yet truth for one person can be a falsehood for another. Is it possible that truth is not about the nature of reality at all but describes what we think about what we say? Would such a heresy undermine meaning itself or liberate us to think afresh?  
407 Theories Mysteries and Mistakers
Theories, Mysteries and Mistakes
Contradictions in reality

We assume our theories about the world are gradually uncovering the way it really is. Yet from quantum mechanics to post-structuralism, the reality the theories describe is contradictory. Should we conclude that the world is essentially unintelligible? Or is it simply the theories that are mistaken?
395 Heraclitus Dream 2
Heraclitus' Dream
Reality in flux

From everyday objects to the stars, the world of things appears stable and fixed. Yet for quantum physics and the ancient philosopher Heraclitus nothing remains the same. Rather than a framework of things might the world be essentially fluid?
94 beyond the machine 1
Beyond the Machine
Metaphors of the body

From Descartes’ view of the heart as a pump to Dennett’s conception of the brain as a computer, our understanding of the body is permeated with mechanical metaphors. Is it an error to believe that the body is a machine? Should we find a new adventure in alternative metaphors of the body, or would this be a romantic illusion?
420 Rationality and Drugs 2
Rationality and Drugs
David Nutt was fired by the Home Secretary for comparing the harms of ecstasy and horse-riding. Hear his case for a rational, evidence-based approach to drug policy. “He took personal risk to his reputation in the name of sound science” Colin Blakemore  
299 Myths about Feminism 2
Myths About Feminism
299 Myths about Feminism 2
Categories: Ideas & Ideology
Speakers: Finn Mackay
London Feminist Network founder Finn Mackay reveals why real feminism isn’t about women ruling the world. “A world changing woman” Guardian.
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?
evil 2
The Banality of Evil
Nature versus nurture

We tend to believe in evil acts, but not evil people. But can we separate a person's actions from their nature? Would believing that some people are born evil help us to understand human nature, or is this a dangerous heresy that would eradicate freedom and responsibility?  
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