Various Speakers

22-31 May 2009
The Globe at Hay, Hereford, Hay-On-Wye HR3 5BG

The Institute of Art and Ideas presents The Philosophy Festival at Hay
Full programme available here

Is Western society being undermined by the values that built it? Over 300 years on from the dawn of the Enlightenment have freedom and individuality run their course? Underpinning these values, is the grand narrative of reason itself under threat? Or is the postmodern attach on traditional values the source of the current malaise? This festival brings philosophers together with politicians, scientists and theologians in a haven of ideas and open debate to discuss the current state of our intellectual landscape and ask: ‘Where do we go from here?’

Friday 22 May 2009
Day One: The Big Picture
The Life and Death of the Enlightenment
Justin Champion, Steve Fuller, Robert Eaglestone
Sponsored by The Liberal
Free but ticketed
Are we witnessing the death of ideals which for 300 years have driven the progress of western society and defined its outlook?
Historian Justin Champion, controversial sociologist Steve Fuller and postmodern philosopher Robert Eaglestone get to grips with where we are and where we’ve come from.

The Age of Immorality
Richard Bronk, Christopher Hamilton, Phillip Blond
Simon Blackburn chairs
Sponsored by the Forum for European Philosophy
From £4
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but above all it was an age without morality. Do we live in a time without morals? Is an absence of morality damaging to the fabric of society? Or is this an inevitable response to the vacuum left by organised religion?
Economist Richard Bronk, political theorist Phillip Blond and philosopher of religion Christopher Hamilton consider if we are facing moral anarchy
and whether we need to find a solution.

4.30pm – 5.45pm
The Failure of Reason?
Simon Blackburn, Hilary Lawson, Steve Fuller
Robert Eaglestone chairs
From £4
If the values of the Enlightenment are under threat, so is the belief in reason that underpinned them.
Has rationality failed us, and with it the potential for us to uncover the truth?
Professor of philosophy at Cambridge, Simon Blackburn, sociologist Steve Fuller, and postmodern philosopher Hilary Lawson attempt to apply reason to the end of reason.