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HowTheLightGetsIn 2016: The Philosophy and Music Festival in Hay-on-Wye


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

storm butterfly
The Storm and the Butterfly
storm butterfly
Speakers: Anatole Kaletsky, Rupert Read, Felix Reed-Tsochas
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
Categories: Art & Aesthetics
Speakers: Helen Croydon, Daniel Miller, Peter York
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?
Unilever Debate Social2
Rethinking Feminism
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...
Truth, Lies and Self-Deception
Can we see ourselves clearly if we want to?

It is not an unusual human trait to imagine we are good when we are not, that we are loved when this is implausible, that we are selfless when we are selfish. But deep down, don't we know the truth?  Can’t we see ourselves clearly if we want to?  Or is self-deception real, in which case who is doing the deceiving?
everything we know
Everything We Know Is Wrong
Can science alone uncover the truth?

At a time of uncertainty and doubt, we often suppose that science alone can uncover the truth. Yet a recent paper found that 90% of scientific studies are notreproducible. Should we see science as a flawed method and look elsewhere for our truths, or is it the only direct line to reality we’ve got?
The Emperor's New God
Can art replace religion?

"I don't believe in God. I believe in Art." So claims Damien Hirst. Is this a PR pitch or could art be the ultimate reality? Can art provide the purpose of life and replace religion in teaching us how to live, or are Hirst and his cronies just modern Mad Men spinning us a new kind of lie?
Forbidden Fantasies
Categories: Culture & Sexuality
Speakers: Serena Kutchinsky, Rowan Pelling, Kirsty White
Where should we draw the line on sexual fantasy? Erotic Review founder Rowan Pelling ponders the intimate ideas banned from the bedroom.
Beyond Words
Beyond Words
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?
rise and fall of fantasy
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 elctrion
After the Election
after the elctrion
Speakers: Philip Collins
Tony Blair's former speechwriter Philip Collins dissects the results of the most anticipated election in a generation.
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