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Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the importance of taking measures to prevent its spread, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment caused.

 


 

Record numbers of measles cases are emerging and vaccination rates are on the decline. Despite the research that fuelled the anti-vaccination scare being discredited, the anti-vax movement appears as strong as ever. Why does this medical scepticism persist, and how might it be tackled? Or might there be times when scepticism is justified? And if so, how are we to determine when we should and when we should not trust the experts? We discuss the causes of and cures for distrust in medical expertise.

 

Speakers

Rohin Francis
Cardiologist, UCL & comedian

Katherine Furman
Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Liverpool

Heidi Larson
Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science, LSHTM

Chair
Jonathan Birch
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Associate Professor of Philosophy, LSE

 

Co-sponsored by the British Society for the Philosophy of Science

 

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Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the importance of taking measures to prevent its spread, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment caused.

 


 

A fierce opponent of the over-reach of science and a lifelong advocate of the humanities, Mary Midgley’s writing ranges across animal ethics, religion, science, and the natural world. In all of these areas, she appealed to a philosophy that is humble and attentive, and connected philosophical thought to lived experience. Join us to celebrate Midgley’s life, work, and legacy, and ask what can she teach us about how to live.

 

Speakers
Gregory McElwain
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, The College of Idaho

Ellie Robson
Doctoral Researcher in Philosophy, Birkbeck

Panayiota Vassilopoulou
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Liverpool

 

Chair
Danielle Sands
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Thought, RHUL

 

Co-sponsored by the British Society for the History of Philosophy

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

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Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the importance of taking measures to prevent its spread, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment caused.

 


 

‘We may go even further than this, and … believe that musical sounds afforded one of the bases for the development of language.’
—Charles Darwin

 

Music is thought to have played an important role in human evolution and in this event we explore the phenomenon and evolution of music. How deep does music go in human history and does music today have anything in common with music in prehistory? What role does music play in the evolution of the mind? And is the ability to hear music uniquely human or something we share with other animals?

 

Speakers
Ian Cross
Professor of Music and Science, University of Cambridge

Diana Omigie
Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience, Goldsmiths

Barry Smith
Professor of Philosophy & Director, Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London.

 

Chair
Jonathan Birch
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Associate Professor of Philosophy, LSE

 

Co-sponsored by the British Society for the Philosophy of Science

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the New Academic Building in general, and the Wolfson Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

A free press is a fundamental pillar of a healthy democracy. It is a vehicle for free expression, informs public debate, and holds government to account. Is there a right to a free press and is this distinct from the freedom of speech of citizens in a democracy? Given the press is often accused of overstepping the mark, invading people’s privacy or publishing material that is harmful to the national interest, where might the limits of press freedom lie? We explore the nature, importance, limitations, and challenges of maintaining a free press in our digital age.

 

Speakers
Chandrika Kaul
Reader in Modern History, University of St Andrews

Sue Mendus
Morrell Professor Emerita in Political Philosophy, University of York

Peter Oborne
Journalist, author, and commentator

 

Chair
Sarah Fine
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL

 

Co-sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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Part of the LSE Festival 2020: Shape the World

All welcome | Free to attend | Ticketed

Tickets will be available from 12 noon on Monday 10 February 2020 here

 

Scientists agree that nature and nurture are essential ingredients in human development. But if both the blank slate and genetic determinism have been rejected, why do researchers still disagree and what is it that they disagree about? Join us as we’ll explore the issues at stake, taking a wide variety of perspectives, from the philosophy of science to epigenetics, and behavioural science to developmental psychology.

 

Speakers
Tom Dickins
Professor of Behavioural Science, Middlesex University & Research Associate, CPNSS, LSE

Eva Jablonka
Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Tel Aviv University & Visiting Fellow, CPNSS, LSE

Sophie von Stumm
Professor of Psychology in Education, University of York

 

Chair
Jonathan Birch
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Associate Professor of Philosophy, LSE

 

Co-sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences, LSE

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the New Academic Building in general, and the Sheik Zayed Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | Ticketed

Tickets will be available a month before the event here

 

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All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

What you think is the point is not the point at all but only the beginning of the sharpness.’

 

The Philosopher’s Book Club is back! We discuss Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman, a novel about the consequences of a murder occasioned by the narrator’s desire to publish a book about his favourite philosopher, de Selby. From bicycles and wooden legs to dualism and the nature of reality, O’Brien’s absurdist tale contains more philosophical themes (and footnotes) than you can shake a stick at. Join us as we bring philosophical and literary minds together to answer the question, ‘Is it about a bicycle?’.

At the Philosophers’ Book Club, we select a work of fiction or biography for philosophical dissection by our panel. Although you are encouraged read the book in advance, it is by no means necessary.

 

Speakers

Caitlín Doherty
Poet and historian

Paul Fagan
Editor, The Parish Review: Journal of Flann O’Brien Studies
Founder, The International Flann O’Brien Society

David Papineau
Professor of Philosophy, KCL/CUNY

 

Chair
Clare Moriarty
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity College Dublin

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the New Academic Building in general, and the Wolfson Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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Thousands of foreign nationals are held in immigration detention across the country. Some are detained on arrival, and others after having lived here for years. Some detainees will be deported, others will be released into the community. Currently in the UK there is no time limit on how long a person can be held in immigration detention. Our panel will reflect on politics and philosophy of immigration detention. Should the state be allowed indefinitely detain people who have committed no crime? What are the alternatives to detention? What does detention tell us about the ethics of immigration control more generally?

 

Speakers
Mishka
Campaigner and Advocate, Freed Voices

Mary Bosworth
Professor of Criminology, University of Oxford

Matthew Gibney
Professor of Politics and Forced Migration, University of Oxford

 

Chair
Sarah Fine
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL

 

Co-sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the New Academic Building in general, and the Sheikh Zayed Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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This Valentine’s Day, what better pursuit than to overthink relationships? Marking the death of Stanley Cavell, we explore the philosophy of film in general, and the rom-com in particular. Can we take philosophical lessons from film? From Bringing up Baby and Roman Holiday to My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Love Actually, what makes a film a rom-com, and can this genre teach us anything about the ethics of relationships?

 

Speakers
Sarah Churchwell
Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities & Professorial Fellow in American Literature, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Robert Hanks
Journalist

Catherine Wheatley
Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, KCL

 

Chair
Shahidha Bari
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Professor of Fashion Cultures, UAL

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the New Academic Building in general, and the Sheik Zayed Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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Peace is highly valued, but how is it achieved? Why are some periods in world history relatively peaceful compared to others? What, if anything, can be done to ensure peace now? Are there limits to what we are justified in doing to ensure peace? Is pacifism a justified response to war? Join us as we discuss the history, ethics, and politics of peace.

 

Speakers
Louise Arimatsu
Distinguished Policy Fellow, LSE

Robin Dunford
Principal Lecturer, Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics, University of Brighton

Rachel Julian
Reader in Peace Studies, Leeds Beckett University

Michael Neu
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics, University of Brighton

Chair
Jonathan Birch
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Associate Professor of Philosophy, LSE

 

Co-sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences, LSE

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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Since Kant, scholars have tended to assume that the critical method is a fundamental part of doing philosophy. But can it help us address the challenges of the twenty-first century, such as globalization and climate change? Some scholars now suggest that the critical method is domineering and Eurocentric, hopelessly outdated and overly negative. So should we embrace different ways of thinking and knowing, and what might they be? Join us as we discuss whether critique can help us address our current political crises and what role it should play in philosophy.

 

Speakers
Frida Beckman
Professor of Comparative Literature, Stockholm University

Tom Boland
Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University College Cork

Chair
Danielle Sands
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Thought, RHUL

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the New Academic Building in general, and the Wolfson Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

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Does fashion allow us to express our individuality or is it a case of the Emperor’s new clothing? Can we judge a book by its cover or is beauty just another manifestation of sexist and racist ideals? Does is even make sense to think of our judgements about beauty as being ethically right or wrong? Whether you wear your heart on your sleeve for fashion or think beauty should be given the boot, join us to discuss the cultural, political, and philosophical dimensions of fashion and beauty.

 

Speakers
Shahidha Bari
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Professor of Fashion Cultures, UAL
Author, Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes

Yashka Jessica Moore 
Designer and writer

Heather Widdows 
John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham
Author, Perfect Me: Beauty as an Ethical Ideal

Chair
Sarah Fine 
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

The importance of grammar is apparent when learning a new language, but there’s much more to grammar than meets the eye. As the system and structure of languages, it plays a vital role in facilitating basic communication. ‘The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar’, wrote de Montaigne. Join us as we probe the philosophical underpinnings of grammar and how it functions in communication, understanding, and even humour.

 

Speakers
Richard Hudson
Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, UCL

Guy Longworth
Reader in Philosophy, University of Warwick

Hazel Pearson
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, QMUL

Chair
Clare Moriarty
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity College Dublin

 

Organized in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Philosophy

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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Aristotle is one of the most famous and influential philosophers. His work on logic, metaphysics, politics, and ethics were all pioneering, sowing the seeds of much later philosophical thought. But almost two and a half millennia later, could this rebellious student of Plato possibly have anything to say about the complexities and concerns of modern life? We explore whether Aristotle can still usefully inform our thinking today, on everything from sex and friendship to animals and politics.

 

Speakers
Joachim Aufderheide
Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL

Sophie Grace Chappell 
Professor of Philosophy, Open University

Sophia Connell 
Lecturer in Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

Chair
Clare Moriarty 
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity College Dublin

 

This event is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Lewis, friend of the Forum and Honorary Treasurer for many years, who knew more about Aristotle, spycraft, and the pools than most.

 

Organised in conjunction with the British Society for the History of Philosophy

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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Join us as we delve into the mystic just in time for Halloween. Philosophy often presents itself as founded on logic and rationality, but even the most rigorous of us must concede that the world can be a strange place. So how does philosophy contend with the mysterious and the inexplicable? Can it really be logic all the way down, or might rationality stand on something a little spookier?

 

Speakers
Lauren Kassell 
Professor of History of Science and Medicine, University of Cambridge

Richard Pettigrew 
Professor of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Nisha Ramayya
Lecturer in Creative Writing, QMUL

Chair
Shahidha Bari 
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
Professor of Fashion Cultures, UAL

 

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

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All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

Where do our ideas of right and wrong come from? Can the evolutionary processes that produced human beings explain the moral frameworks adopted by human societies? And what can developmental biology tell us about the emergence of ethical behaviour in children? From anthropology to cognitive science, philosophy to evolutionary biology, we shed some light on the complex story of Homo moralis.

 

Speakers
Zanna Clay
Assistant Professor of Comparative and Developmental Psychology, Durham University

Philip Pettit 
L. S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton University
Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University

Simone Schnall
Reader in Experimental Social Psychology, University of Cambridge

Chair
Clare Moriarty 
Fellow, Forum for Philosophy
IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity College Dublin

 

Organized in conjunction with the Royal Institute of Philosophy

 

This event forms part of the ‘Shape the World’ series, held in the run up to the LSE Festival, a week-long series of events taking place from Monday 2 to Saturday 7 March 2020, free to attend and open to all, exploring how social sciences can make the world a better place. The full  programme will be available online from January 2020.

Quick accessibility map here. Full access information for the Old Building in general, and the Old Theatre in particular, available here.

 

All welcome | Free to attend | First come, first served at the door

 

Behind the Scenes

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BPS/SWIP Good Practice Scheme

The Forum for Philosophy subscribes to the British Philosophical Association/Society for Women in Philosophy (UK) Good Practice Scheme