Digest Week 2 Michaelmas Term 2023

MT23, Week 2 (15th-21st October)

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

'What sort of commitment are preparatory conditions?'

Speaker: Martina Faller (University of Manchester

Hosted by Víctor Acedo-Matellán and Daniel Altshuler

Date/Time: Monday 16 October at 4.15pm

Venue: Room 2, Taylorian Institute


'The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity'

Speaker: Toby Ord

Date/Time: Monday 16 October at 6pm

Venue: Maths Institute

Our species could survive for millions of years - time to end disease and poverty; to reach new heights of flourishing.

But this vast future is at risk. With the advent of nuclear weapons, humanity gained the power to destroy ourselves.

In this talk, Toby Ord will talk about the threats from climate change, engineered pathogens, and artificial intelligence and argue that we must do more to prevent these risks. 

In the Q&A afterwards, Toby will be happy to talk about how recent events- like Russia-Ukraine war, Covid, and the rise of ChatGPT - have affected his thinking about existential risk.

There will also be free 🍕pizza🍕 afterwards

Confirm your place here



Taste and the Brain

The St Hilda's Brain and Mind Series continues this term with Taste and the Brain

Guest speakers will be Dr Barry Smith (Institute of Advanced Studies London) for philosophy, Dr Charles Spence (University of Oxford) for psychology, and Dr Maike Glitsch (Medical School Hamburg) for neuroscience.

Date/Time: Tuesday 17 October between 5:00pm - 7:15pm

Venue: Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, St Hilda's College

Taste and the Brain is a free, live and in-person event where all are welcome.

Book Tickets here


Joseph Butler Society

'Faith, Reason and the Challenge of Naturalism'

Speaker: Robert Audi (Notre Dame)

Date/Time: Tuesday 17 October between 8:30pm - 10 pm

Venue: Oriel College

Further details are available here.



Hegel Reading Group

We shall be meeting Wednesdays 6-7.30 pm on Skype; please email louise.braddock@philosophy.ox.ac.uk or susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link. This term we are reading texts by other authors discussing passages and problems of 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). Texts are shared via dropbox link and to be read in advance. Updates are posted on hegelinoxford.wordpress.com.


Asian Philosophies Group

A group for those interested in Asian philosophies, from any department, to come together from across disciplines to discuss Asian philosophies! Email alice.winham@lmh.ox.ac.uk to join the mailing list and WhatsApp group.

Senior Seminar in Indian Religions

Professor Alex Watson: Dharmakīrti, Rāmakaṇṭha and Galen Strawson on the existence of selves 

Brett Parris: The metaethics of Patañjali’s yoga

Taking place on Wednesday 18 October at 4:30pm, OCHS Library with nibbles and tea provided afterwards.


Philosophy of Mathematics Reading Group

The reading will be from Geoffrey Hellman & Stewart Shapiro's Varietes of continua. This week we will be looking at the first chapter. 

Everyone is welcome. Reading the paper would be strongly encouraged but people are welcome even if not. 

The group will meet on Wednesday 18 October, 1-2pm in the Lecture Room (Upstairs in the Radcliffe Humanities Building).



Hertford College Event

'Peace Processes of the Future: Peace with Technology'

Speakers: Professor Carissa Véliz and Tom Fletcher

Time/Date: Thursday 19 October at 5.30pm

Venue: Weston Library Book

Artificial intelligence is changing the way we live, work and coexist. Our decisions are increasingly informed by the data acquired by tech companies. How do we as individuals navigate the challenges and opportunities of this new reality, and how can society find the right balance between security and liberty? Join Professor Carissa Véliz, an expert in the ethics of privacy and AI, and Hertford’s Principal Tom Fletcher, as they discuss these issues as part of Hertford’s Peace Processes of the Future series. The lecture is sponsored by the Clifford Chance Global Tech Group, which shares with Hertford College a dedicated commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Clifford Chance’s support of Hertford’s undergraduate bursary programme is instrumental in providing opportunities for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue Computer Science studies at Oxford, and its sponsorship of the Code Club empowers young people to consider a future in tech.

Book your free ticket here.