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

Romancing Opiates: Theodore Dalrymple
Romancing Opiates
Thoeodre Dalrymple argues his personal take on the problems poppies pose.

What is the strange allure of opiate addiction? Author and former prison psychiatrist Thoeodre Dalrymple argues his personal take on the problems poppies pose.
Debate: The Morality of War: Are we responsible for protecting western values?
The Morality of War
Are we responsible for protecting western values?

The Iraq war left us acutely aware of the dangers of intervening in foreign lands. Yet the outrages of Isis have demanded a response. Do we have a responsibility to protect Western values, or is the high ground held by staying out of it? Or is morality irrelevant in foreign affairs and our interest all that matters?
Avoiding Apocalypse: Is a nuclear crisis inevitable?
Avoiding Apocalypse
Is a nuclear crisis inevitable?
Is a nuclear crisis inevitable?

Fifty years on from the Cuban missile crisis we are so used to living with nuclear weapons that we feel strangely safe. Yet with the end of US dominance and the likelihood of proliferation the future looks precarious.  Is a nuclear crisis at some point inevitable?  Or can we avoid catastrophe, and if so how?
The Puzzle of Progress: Has technology brought us the good life?
The Puzzle of Progress
Has technology brought us the good life?
Has technology brought us the good life?

Western culture is a story of technological advance, medical miracles, and material progress. But depression and suicide rates have oddly not diminished. Why have advances not brought us the good life? Is technology and material benefit irrelevant to our inner being or should we be more thankful for the riches we have?
Debate: A Goldilocks World: Is the universe finely tuned for life?
A Goldilocks World
Is the universe finely tuned for life?

Copernicus and Darwin taught us to be skeptical of feeling we were special. Yet from the size of the electron to the cosmological constant our universe is strangely fine-tuned for life.  Is this a spectacularly fortuitous accident?  Has the universe been tailored for us or do the theories just make it look that way?
Talk: Philosophy of Confidence with Rowland Manthorpe
A Philosophy of Confidence
Nietzsche famously said 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger', but how should we deal with failure? Author and Wired editor Rowland Manthorpe declares war on defeat.
Debate: Brave New Horizon:Where will technology lead the human race?
Brave New Horizon
Where will technology lead the human race?

Designer babies and human enhancement were once confined to fiction. Now biotechnology allows designer genetics, and many already choose the sex of their children. Where will this technology lead the human race? Should we be nervous of the ability to enhance ourselves or embrace an exciting new future for humankind?
Debate: A World Without Borders: Should we get rid of nation states?
A World Without Borders
Should we get rid of nation states?

From the Olympics to the UN we celebrate national identity and culture. Yet nations are typically the source of warfare and conflict. Would we be better to get rid of nations and borders in favour of a wider, ultimately global, community?  Or are we less fearful of warfare than the tyranny of a peace imposed by a central government?
Talk: Metaphors of the Mind with Ophelia Deroy
Metaphors of the Mind
Talk: Metaphors of the Mind with Ophelia Deroy
Speakers: Ophelia Deroy
Neuroscientist Ophelia Deroy uncovers the origins

Is our perception of the world no more than a metaphor? Co-director of the Institute of Philosophy and neuroscientist Ophelia Deroy uncovers the origins of experience. 
Debate: In Search of the Self: Who are we?
In Search of the Self
Who are we?

There is no self, no 'I', only a flickering illusion. So claim many neuroscientists and philosophers. Yet for the rest of us, the denial of the self feels like a bitter pill to swallow. Is the self a fantasy? Or is it essential to our being and consciousness?
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