Digest Week 1 Hilary Term 2023

HT23, Week 1 (15th-21st January)

If you have entries for the weekly Digest, please send information to admin@philosophy.ox.ac.uk by midday, Wednesday the week before the event. 

Notices - other Philosophy events, including those taking place elsewhere in the university and beyond


General Linguistics Seminar

Hosted by Víctor Acedo-Matellán and Daniel Altshuler

Title: Predication, specification, equation

Speaker: Isabelle Roy (Nantes Université)

The seminar will take place at 5:15pm in Room 2 of the Taylorian Institute


Philosophy of Mathematics Reading Group

We will be looking at Mary Leng’s 2021 paper ‘Models, Structures and the Explanatory Role of Mathematics in Empirical Science’. Synthese 199 (3):10415-40. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03253-x. Fabian Pregel will be leading the discussion.

Everyone is welcome. Reading the paper would be strongly encouraged but people are welcome even if not. All questions thoughts and contributions are invited as we work together to enrich our understanding of the work at the cutting edge of the philosophy of mathematics. No question is a stupid question.

The group will meet on Monday 16th of January, 4.30-6pm in the Ryle Room



Hegel Reading Group

We shall be meeting on Tuesdays 6-7.30 pm on Skype; please email louise.braddock@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link.

This term and the next we are reading Hegel’s Anthropology, in the ‘Philosophy of Mind’ (translation is by Wallace and Miller) but we will work from the Michael Inwood revision (OUP 2007). We are starting (in 1st Week) from para 377, eventually getting to the end at para 412 (we will not read the Zuzatse in the sessions).

The reading is posted each week on hegelinoxford.wordpress.com


Gadfly Reading Group

focusing on the writings of Plato

Meet on Tuesdays during term time, 7:30pm at St John’s College

Reading for the first two weeks: Hippias Major

“I am the gadfly of the Athenian people” - Socrates, in Plato’s Apology 

The Gadfly Club was founded because we believe that dialogue is the principal and most effective method of understanding ourselves and the world around us. We thus read Plato’s dialogue not just as a model of dialogue, nor only for his philosophical insights; we use his dialogues as a springboard to discuss the real and living problems they present. This is why, after an hour or more of live-reading, we head to the only place friends and philosophers must go – the pub!

We encourage all – especially those who don’t consider themselves ‘students of philosophy’ – to come and join us, hoping to remain true to the main desire of the OSM – that of stimulating inter-disciplinary engagement. 



Applied Ethics Graduate Discussion Group

Convenor:  Dr Becky Brown

Venue: Oxford Uehiro Centre, Seminar Room, Suite 1 Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbes St. OX1 1PT

Part 1: Methods in Applied Ethics: Dr Gabriel De Marco on 'Nudges'

Required Reading:

  1. Schmidt and Engelen’s “The Ethics of Nudging: and Overview” in Philosophy Compass, and
  2. Schmidt’s “Getting Real on Rationality – Behavioural Science, Nudging, and Public Policy” in Ethics

Part 2: Work in Progress

Student Presenting:  Chiara Innorta

Student Responding: TBC

Those joining via Zoom should login here using the following Meeting ID: 876 7288 0056 and Passcode: 676270.


Campion Hall Research Seminar
Institutions: Understanding and Evaluating Them

Patrick Riordan (Campion Hall, Oxford): Philosophical analysis of Institutions

3pm - 4.30pm, Campion Hall

Major institutions have failed society. Banks and the Financial Markets have failed us in the 2008 credit crisis. The FA, the BBC, the Churches, British Gymnastics have all failed the victims of sex abuse. The Police and the CPS have failed the victims of sexual violence and rape. The NHS and Care Services continue to fail many patients. The British Government, its regulatory and supervisory bodies, and the building industry have failed the residents of Grenfell Tower, and the residents of similar high-rise blocks, whether social housing or privately owned.

Multiple institutional failure provokes the question whether we have the intellectual resources to understand institutions, to critique them, to repair them, or to construct and operate them appropriately. The hermeneutics of suspicion (Marx, Freud) has trained us to suspect hidden agenda in the exercise of institutional power. People espouse spirituality and reject institutional religion. Voters abandon established political institutions and seek an alternative politics. What prospects are there for a different experience of institutions?

The seminar will explore available analyses of institutions, the intellectual resources for dealing with them, possible remedies, and will test their application in various domains such as the law, the economy, the Church, public administration.

For more information and to register: https://www.campion.ox.ac.uk/events/campion-hall-research-seminar-institutions-understanding-and-evaluating-them


Jaeggi Reading Group

Text: Rahel Jaeggi, Alienation, trans Neuhouser/Smith (Columbia UP, 2014). German editions 2005/2016: Entfremdung.

The English text is available electronically via SOLO.

Friday 1.30-3.00pm HT 2023 Weeks 1 to 8

Venue: Worcester College, Le May Seminar Room

Reading for Week 1: chapters 1 & 2