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

everything explained
Everything Explained
everything explained
Speakers: Peter Atkins
Can science explain all of existence? Eminent chemist Peter Atkins believes only pessimism, prejudice and fear suggest otherwise.
imagining the truth
Imagining the Truth
Can fantasy reveal reality?

We believe reason is our best tool for acquiring true knowledge of the world. But Picasso said "art is a lie that tells the truth," and many others before him have made similar claims. Are they right? Can imagination lead us to truths hidden from the rational mind, or is this romantic hogswash?
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The Establishment
Owen Jones
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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
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This Debate Has No Title
Solving the self-referential paradox
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Speakers: Peter Cameron, Hilary Lawson, Patricia Waugh
Solving the self-referential paradox

Paradoxes of self-reference are found in mathematics, art  and philosophy from the Greeks to Derrida. But Bertrand Russell thought he had solved them. Was he wrong? Might these paradoxes in fact hold the key to a deeper truth, and even to the universe itself? Or is this all a storm in a logician's teacup?
hunt for dark energy
The Hunt for Dark Energy
hunt for dark energy
Speakers: Peter Cameron, George Ellis, David Tong
Seeking our hidden universe

Dark energy is supposed to make up two-thirds of the universe. But troublingly CERN has yet to find any evidence. Have we got our story of the universe wrong - might dark energy be the aether of our time? Do we need a new account of the universe, or is it too soon for such radical solutions?
facts and fantasy
Facts and Fantasy
Are facts a fiction?

We think facts decide the matter. But each politician, economist, and expert seems to rely on a different set. Might facts be a fiction - a by-product of each and every perspective? Would giving up on facts lead to chaos or make us more open and pluralistic?
planet of the clones
Planet of the Clones
Should we clone human beings?

Human cloning is anathema to most of us conjuring up Metropolis visions of identical humans serving tyrannical masters. But might this be a mistaken horror story? Could human cloning instead lead to medical breakthroughs and the end to infertility?  
the limits of logic
The Limits of Logic
Should we embrace the irrational?

Logicians don't rule the world or get the most done. Could it be that a consistent world view is neither desirable nor achievable? If we abandon the straightjacket of rationality might this lead to a more powerful and exciting future, or is it a heresy that leads to madness? 
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Bang Goes the Big Bang
Is it possible that the Big Bang is a mistake?

We take it for granted that the Universe began with the Big Bang. But there are problems with the theory. Is it just possible that the Big Bang will turn out to be a mistake? Since our whole account of the Universe depends on this theory - can we contemplate giving it up and what might replace it?
the snowden affair
The Snowden Affair: An insider's take
the snowden affair
Speakers: David Omand
Former Director of GCHQ David Omand dissects the NSA revelations and what they mean for the future of security. "One of the most able people to have served in the British government since the Second World War" Times
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