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


Monday 6th November - 17:00 GMT

IAI Live November

Steven Pinker, Aviva Chomsky, John Mearsheimer, Sophie Scott-Brown

Join us on November 6th to watch two of the world's leading experts on the Enlightenment, Steven Pinker and John Mearsheimer, lock horns in an hour-long live debate that has never happened before in a public forum. There will be an opportunity after the debate to ask the panellists questions face-to-face.

The Enlightenment is typically seen as ushering in an age of freedom and moral progress led by universal notions of liberty and justice. But critics now argue that Enlightenment morality led to a belief that European civilisation was the pinnacle of progress with grave consequences, perhaps first seen in the French revolution and today in Western military adventures from the Gulf War to Libya.

Is it time to accept that humanist values may be actively harming rather than helping the world? Is there a better alternative to Enlightenment morality? Or should we double down on promoting these values as preferable to all other moral frameworks?

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