Hilary Lawson

6.30pm (drinks) for 7pm | Thursday 21 February 2002
6 Bedford Square, London WC1B3RA

Hilary Lawson
, philosopher, journalist and documentary film-maker

Alan Montefiore
, Balliol College, Oxford

In the 1990’s post-modernism swept through a whole range of disciplines: from literature departments to the social sciences, from history to philosophy. In its aftermath there is unease and confusion as our old certainties have been replaced with a mêlée of competing perspectives. In almost every discipline many are looking for a way out, a solution to the maze. Closure is a response to this crisis: a means to understand our experience and our circumstances in an age without truth. It is a radically new story about the nature of ourselves and of the world.

Instead of seeing the world as a thing, a universe, whose truths we might uncover through for example the procedures of science, Closure proposes that we regard the world as open and it is we who close it through our stories. The resulting framework offers solutions to the central questions of contemporary philosophy: the character of language and meaning, of the individual and consciousness, of truth and reality. As a theory of knowledge Closure has dramatic consequences for our understanding of the sciences, changing what we think science foes and how it is able to do it. It also accounts for why we need and desire both art and religion. It reshapes our understanding of ourselves and the organisation of society, our goals and our capacity to achieve them. But above all it makes sense of where and who we are.

The Book Forum
The Book Forum continues its series of meetings which aim to present recent philosophy books for discussion by a wider public. The author discusses his or her book, and after opening the discussion the Chair will invite all present to join in. The Book Forum is organised with New York University in London