Philosophy and Ethics Group meetings topics

21 July 2017

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27 October 2017
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5 January 2018
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31 August 2018
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21 December 2018
4 January 2019
18 January 2019
1 February 2019
15 February 2019
1 March 2019
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29 March 2019
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26 April 2019
10 May 2019
24 May 2019
7 June 2019
21 June 2019
Bio-Ethics Bites Demand for health care is infinite, but money is finite. So how should we distribute resources? Whom should we help, and why?

Anil Seth on the Real Problem of Consciousness- How can we begin to explain the relationship between our brains and our conscious experience?
Read an article by Anil Seth on the Real Problem of Consciousness
Watch Anil Seth's TED talk on Consciousness

Michael Puett on Ritual in Chinese Philosophy20:05
22 days ago
Why does apparently trivial ritual play such an important part in some ancient Chinese philosophy? Michael Puett, co-author of The Path, explains
Aaron Meskin on the Definition of Art17:05
7 weeks ago
What is Art? That's not an easy question to answer. Some philosophers even think it can't be answered. Aaron Meskin discusses this question
Shelly Kagan on Death and Deprivation23:57
13 weeks ago
The process of dying can be horrible for many, but is there anything bad about death itself? The obvious answer is that deprives us of something that we might otherwise have experienced. But that leads to further philosophical issues
Elisabeth Schellekens Dammann on Disagreement About Taste20:38
13 weeks ago
We certainly disagree about aesthetic judgments in a range of cases. But is anyone right? Is there no disputing about taste? Are all tastes equal? Elisabeth Schellekens Damman discusses disagreement about taste top thinkers in the philosophy of art.
Andy Clark on The Extended Mind18:06
17 weeks ago
Andy Clark, who with David Chalmers proposed the theory of the extended mind, explains what he means by this idea in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Stephen Davies on Art and Evolution13:17
20 weeks ago
Why do we have art at all? There must be some evolutionary explanation. In this episode of the Aesthetics Bites podcast series, Stephen Davies discusses some of the evolutionary theories about where art came from in conversation with Nigel Warburton.
Eileen John on Art and Morality15:34
20 weeks ago
In this episode of Aesthetics Bites, Eileen John discusses some of the ways that art explores moral questions. Nigel Warburton is the interviewer.
Chris Frith on The Point of Consciousness16:10
24 weeks ago
Why do we have consciousness at all? Neuroscientist Chris Frith discusses this question with Nigel Warburton
Keith Frankish on Conscious Thought11:59
26 weeks ago
One distinctive feature of human beings is that we can represent aspects of the world to ourselves, and also counterfactual situations. We do this through our conscious thoughts. Keith Frankish discusses this phenomenon
Amia Srinivasan on What is a Woman?19:46
28 weeks ago
'What is a woman?' may seem a straightforward question, but it isn't. Feminist philosophers from Simone de Beauvoir onwards have had a great deal to say on this topic. Amia Srinivasan gives a lucid introduction to some of the key positions in this debate in this episode.
Kate Jeffery on Concepts and Representation16:26
32 weeks ago
Neuroscientist Kate Jeffery discusses how the brain represents the world.
Anthony Gottlieb on Pierre Bayle15:02
33 weeks ago
Pierre Bayle was one of the best-known philosophers in the Eighteenth Century, but his work is now rarely studied. Anthony Gottlieb, author of The Dream of Enlightenment, argues that he should be better known, particularly his work on toleration and on scepticism.
Kathleen Stock on Fiction and the Emotions17:30
35 weeks ago
How should we understand the emotions that readers feel about fictional characters? Kathleen Stock discusses this question with Nigel Warburton
David Miller on Immigration21:00
35 weeks ago
Immigration is one of the major, and most contentious, political issues of our day. Can philosophy help here? David Miller thinks so. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he speaks to David Edmonds about border controls and their justification.
Sophie Scott on the Meaning of Laughter20:20
40 weeks ago
What is laughter? What roles does it serve? Sophie Scott, a neuroscientist, discusses this serious question with Nigel Warburton for this episode of Mind Bites,
Peter Godfrey-Smith on Mental Representations19:04
41 weeks ago
Do we map the world in our minds? Does that imply that we have a little inner map-reader in our heads interpreting mental representations? Peter Godfrey-Smith discusses these issues with Nigel Warburton
Noel Carroll on Criticism16:15
41 weeks ago
Noel Carroll argues that evaluation is a central element of criticism of art, drama, dance, music, and literature. Nigel Warburton is the interviewer for this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Cecile Fabre on Remembrance21:37
43 weeks ago
How should we remember and commemorate those who die in war? What about the enemy dead? Cecile Fabre discusses this issue with Nigel Warburton
Jesse Prinz on Thinking with Pictures21:40
50 weeks ago
Many philosophers deny the common sense view that we think with pictures. Are they right to do so? Jesse Prinz doesn't think so. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast he explains to Nigel Warburton why we need to think again about thinking with pictures.
Kieran Setiya on the Mid-Life Crisis12:32
1 year ago
The mid-life crisis is a well-observed phenomenon. Is there a philosophical angle on this? MIT philosopher Kieran Setiya thinks there is.
Catherine Wilson on Epicureanism17:20
1 year ago
Epicureanism has been caricatured as a philosophy of indulgence. But what did followers of the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus really believe? Catherine Wilson discusses Epicureanism with Nigel Warburton
Gregg Caruso on Freewill and Punishment16:42
1 year ago
If determinism is true, can there be anyjustification for punishment? Gregg Caruso discusses this issue on Philosophy Bites.
Greg Currie on the Philosophy of Film19:27
1 year ago
This episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast focuses on several questions about representation and perception in the philosophy of film. Nigel Warburton talks to Greg Currie.
Katherine Morris on Merleau-Ponty on the Body17:58
1 year ago
Maurice Merleau-Ponty was one of the most interesting of the French phenomenological thinkers, but his reputation has been eclipsed by those of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Katherine Morris discusses some of Merleau-Ponty's ideas about the body in this episode
Michael Devitt on Experimental Semantics15:12
1 year ago
Does the word 'Gödel' straightforwardly refer to the person who came up with the incompleteness theory of arithmetic? Some think the best way to find out to ask people about their intuitions on the topic? This creates all kinds of problems, as Michael Devitt explains
Steven Hyman on Categorising Mental Disorders16:43
1 year ago
Steven E. Hyman discusses the philosophical issues that arise from attempting to categorise mental disorders with David Edmonds
Leif Wenar on Trade and Tyranny18:32
2 years ago
Where does our oil come from? Does it matter? Leif Wenar, author of the recent book Blood Oil, argues that Western democracies are compromising themselves by buying either directly or indirectly from vicious tyrants.
Katrin Flikschuh on Philosophy in Africa17:21
2 years ago
In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Katrin Flikschuh addresses the question 'What sort of philosophy is going on in Africa?'
Carlo Rovelli on Philosophy and Physics22:26
2 years ago
Some eminent physicists, including Stephen Hawking, have been sceptical of the value of philosophy to physics. Carlo Rovelli, a theoretical physicist with a strong interest in philosophy, disagrees.
John Worrall on Evidence-Based Medicine12:26
2 years ago
What sort of conclusions can we legitimately draw from the experiments that support evidence-based medicine? John Worrall questions some of the received opinion on this topic in this interview
Joshua Greene on the Construction of Thought12:19
2 years ago
We take for granted the fact that we can combine concepts to give new thoughts, and understand the thoughts too. How do we do that? Joshua D. Greene discusses this question
Graham Priest on Buddhism and Philosophy17:52
2 years ago
What is the nature of the self? What is reality? How should we live? These are fundamental philosophical questions. Graham Priest discusses how such questions have been discussed in the Buddhist tradition
Jesse Prinz on Is Everything Socially Constructed?20:27
2 years ago
To what degree is reality something created by us? Jesse Prinz explores this fascinating question in conversation with Nigel Warburton.
Massimo Pigliucci on the Demarcation Problem23:56
2 years ago
How can you tell science from non-science? Karl Popper argued that the falsifiability of a hypothesis is the mark of science. Massimo Pigliucci is not so sure about that.
David Owens on Duty12:42
2 years ago
What is a duty and what sort of obligation does it put us on? David Owens explores the nature of duty
Kimberley Brownlee on Social Deprivation17:24
2 years ago
We are a highly social species: we need human contact. But do we have a right to it? In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Kimberley Brownlee suggests that this is an ingredient in a minimally decent human life...
Shelly Kagan on Speciesism24:33
2 years ago
The philosopher Peter Singer is famous for his attack on speciesism, the alleged prejudice that many exhibit in favour of human interests when compared with the interests of other animals. Here Shelly Kagan outlines Singer's position and takes issue with it.
Susan James on Foucault and Knowledge21:37
2 years ago
Michel Foucault's work explores a wide range of topics; it includes histories of both punishment and sex. He also wrote more abstractly about philosophical topics. One theme to which he kept returning, whatever the topic, was the nature of our knowledge. Susan James discusses this thread in his work
Larry Temkin on Transitivity20:57
2 years ago
How do you choose which course of action is best? It seems reasonable that if A is better than B, and B is better than C, A must be better than C. But is it? Larry Temkin challenges this idea, known as the axiom of transitivity.
William B. Irvine on Living Stoically13:30
2 years ago
How should we live? is a basic philosophical question. The Stoics had some answers. But are they relevant today? William B. Irvine thinks so. Listen to his conversation with Nigel Warburton
Steven Lukes on Power14:25
2 years ago
What is power? Steven Lukes argues for a three-dimensional account of this concept
Theodore Zeldin on Philosophy and History12:09
2 years ago
The historian and writer Theodore Zeldin gives his personal take on the relation betwen philosophy and history in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Jesse Prinz on Art and Emotion20:29
2 years ago
What part do emotions play in our appreciation of art? Jesse Prinz explores the sense of wonder at artworks in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Cassim Quassam on Conspiracy Theories20:47
2 years ago
What is a conspiracy? Why do conspiracies - real or imagined - matter to philsophy? Cassim Quaassam explores these questions in conversation with Nigel Warburton
Tim Williamson on the Appeal of Relativism13:47
2 years ago
Are all truths relative? That's an attractive idea for many people. Tim Williamson, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford University discusses why and attempts to immunise us against sloppy thinking in this area.
Shaun Nichols on Death and the Self14:43
2 years ago
How does your view of the self affect your attitude to your own death? Shaun Nichols discusses this question in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Rebecca Roache on Swearing17:40
2 years ago
Warning: this episode on the philosophy of swearing includes swearing. Rebecca Roache discusses swearing and whether there are good arguments for refraining from it.
Lisa Bortolotti on Irrationality17:18
2 years ago
We're all irrational some of the time, probably more of the time than we are ready to acknowledge. Lisa Bortolotti discusses the nature of irrationality with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.
Jonathan Webber on Deceiving With Words13:32
2 years ago
There are many ways to deceive with words, some of which don't involve lying. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Jonathan Webber considers whether it matters or not if you lie.
Simon Critchley on Suicide17:37
2 years ago
Albert Camus described suicide as the 'one really serious philosophical problem'. In this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast Simon Critchley discusses suicide with Nigel Warburton.