A monthly event featuring debates, talks, interviews, music and film. LIVE.


Monday 8th April - 06:00 PM BST

Headline Debate: Mind, Matter & Everything

The great mystery of philosophy

IAI Live April, featuring Judith Butler, Sean Carroll, Ellen Langer & Tamar Gendler, will be taking place in our online festival venue - you can explore by clicking HERE. Please make sure to log-in with your account used to buy the ticket, or with the account linked to your subscription.

There is a widespread belief that we are getting closer to describing how the mind works. In a 2020 survey of English speaking philosophers, more than half thought materialism described the human mind. But critics point to the danger of imagining that an ever more sophisticated material account of the brain brings us nearer to an understanding of consciousness. After all we don't have an explanation of a single thought let alone for experience as a whole. And even Richard Dawkins said that scientists 'are no more equipped to deal with consciousness than anyone else'.

Do we need to accept that material stuff is a radically different sort of thing than thought and consciousness, and one can never be explained in terms of the other?  Can we overcome the opposition of the physical and the mental by seeing them as linguistic categories rather than ultimate metaphysical states? Or can materialism, pull the rabbit from the hat and be extended to account for thought and experience?


17:20 BST - Interview: The Mindful Body The Lounge

18:00 BST - Headline Debate: Mind, Matter & Everything arena

19:20 BST - Solo Talk: Fascist Passions? arena

19:30 BST - Music: James Crowley stage

Sean Carroll

Renowned Physicist

Sean M. Carroll is the Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at John Hopkins University, and Fractal Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. He also hosts the weekly podcast Mindscape,  which explores interesting ideas in science, philosophy, culture, and the arts.

Tamar Gendler

Distinguished Philosopher

Tamar Szabó Gendler is Yale University's Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy, and Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Her research focuses on the relation between imagination and belief, the contrast between rational and non-rational persuasion, and the role of habits in shaping behavior and judgment.

Ellen Langer

Trailblazing psychologist

Ellen Langer is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and the author of The Mindful Body. Among other honours, she is the recipient of three distinguished scientist awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Liberty Science Genius Award. She is widely known as the mother of mindfulness.

Jack Symes

Public philosopher

Jack Symes is a public philosopher and writer. He is the producer of The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast and editor of the Bloomsbury series Talking about Philosophy. He is currently Teacher and Researcher at Durham University, UK.

Tamar Gendler, Sean Carroll and Ellen Langer ask if there is more to consciousness than the mind? Hosted by Jack Symes.


Please join us after the debate for the "Meet the Speakers" session, where you will have the opportunity to ask our speakers your questions directly in a live audience Q&A.