Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers
The Storm and the Butterfly
Can we refine our scientific models?
We rely on our models to chart the future. Yet from the financial crash to climate change, life has a habit of defying prediction. Do our models necessarily fail? Must we live cautiously, in fear of unforeseeable risks, or can we refine our models to enable accuracy, reliability and prosperity?
Dying for Dior
Is fashion an aesthetic art form?
We think fashion is a harmless spectacle. But critics claim the industry relies on misogyny and exploitation. Is fashion an ugly sore at the heart of popular culture? Or is it an aesthetic art form that brings beauty to our lives and without which we risk slipping into Maoist monochrome?
Is there a universal goal for women's rights?
We think feminism fights for equality for everyone. But from the right to wear headscarves to the refusal of contraception, ideas of what is fair and what equality is vary dramatically. Does feminism lack a universal goal because its an impossible dream? Must we recognise feminism means different things in different places or should we all fight fo...
Is meaning a human fantasy?
Perhaps responsible for the success of the human species, the power of language is remarkable. Yet a description of love, or a storm at sea, is not the same as the experience. Might language not describe reality at all? Is meaning a human fantasy of unlimited power and risk, or does it tell us how it really is?
The Rise and Fall of Fantasy
Do we need new fantasies for the 21st Century?
Once we paraded grand visions of the future, now such goals are more typically left to the fanatical fringe. With economic and cultural growth in the East what vision does the West have to offer? Do we need new fantasies to meet the challenges of the 21st century or is our scepticism a sign of wisdom rather than decline?
After the Election