Digest Week 4 Hilary Term 2020

HT20, Week 4 (9th - 15th February)

If you have entries for the weekly Digest, they must be received by Wednesday, midday of the week before the event. Please send information to admin@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Unless otherwise stated, all events will take place in the Radcliffe Humanities Building on Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG.

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

Philosophy of Probability Reading Group | 14.00 - 16.00 | Brasenose College

Organisers: Kevin Dorst, Silvia Milano and Al Wilson

The reading group will be pre-read - here is a list of possible readings.

If you'd like to attend, please fill out this form.

If you're interested in leading the discussion on some days (on a paper of your choice), state this on the form. Please also email kevindorst@pitt.edu when you sign up.


Global Priorities Research Reading Group | 18.30 - 20.00 | Nuffield Room 2, Worcester College

The reading group meets weekly to discuss Global Priorities Research, and most papers we’ll read are from the Global Priorities Institute. To be added to the mailing list, please email: petra.kosonen@worc.ox.ac.uk. This event is organized by Effective Altruism Oxford.


Interdisciplinary seminars in psychoanalysis | 20.15 | Lecture Room, St John’s College Research Centre, 45 St Giles’

Armand d’Angour (University of Oxford): Reconstructing Socrates: Platonic projections and realities

What was Socrates’ understanding of Love? We must approach the question via Plato’s Symposium, which puts a doctrine about the ‘ascent’ of love’s objects into the mouth of Socrates via the mysterious figure of Diotima. In the dialogue Diotima’s doctrine challenges the theories of eros that have been proposed by other members of the party, notably the comic poet Aristophanes. Recent historical investigations into the text of Symposium suggest, however, a new perspective on Socrates’ own approach to love, as opposed to one directed towards Plato’s idealist goals: an object-relational understanding that can be set against the drive-directed structure famously derived by Freud from his interpretation of the tragedy of Oedipus (as treated by Sophocles). This revised understanding of Socratic eros fits in with a more down-to-earth portrayal of Socrates than is usually allowed for, which emerges from passages in Plato’s writings where he arguably projects characteristics of the philosopher onto other figures. 

The seminar is open free of charge to members of the University and to mental health professionals but space is limited.

To attend it is helpful (but not essential) to e-mail paul.tod@sjc.ox.ac.uk


Dr Harry Bunting: God and Moral Order | 20.15 | Miles Room, St Peter's College

If the world is not a morally ordered world, in which virtue and happiness ultimately coincide, then sceptical moral philosophers may be justified in challenging the rationality of morality. My life is at the mercy of luck, so why should I be moral? It is characterised by inescapable tragedy, so why should I be moral? I am left at the mercy of endless malevolence, so why should I be moral? This paper explores some of the distinctive answers which the Judaic-Christian provides to these sceptical questions. In doing so it develops an understanding not just of a divinely ordered world and the rationality of morality within it but also of a Christian understanding of such things as forgiveness, theodicy and eschatology. The precise role assigned to theism in these accounts is examined and it is argued that a Kantian framework provides the most plausible account.

This event is hosted by The Joseph Butler Society and is open to all members of the university and their guests.

Animal Law Discussion Group | 12.00 - 13.30 | Seminar Room L, Faculty of Law

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new discussion group in the Law Faculty, the Animal Law Discussion Group (ALDG). The ALDG aims to discuss all things relating to animals and the law, including: the legal and moral status of animals, all aspects of the law as it applies to animals including in the agriculture and life sciences sectors, the environmental impacts of animal use, and animal rights more generally and what these might look like. ALDG sessions will typically have a presentation from a researcher working in animal law (or related fields) with time for Q&A and further discussion. We are hoping the ALDG will foster interdisciplinary interaction so that we can consider how work from other disciplines can feed into the legal treatment of animals and vice versa.

The ALDG is launching this Hilary Term with our inaugural session in Week 4. This session will be an opportunity to identify those who are interested in this new and emerging area of law and collaboratively discuss ways to make the ALDG the most useful forum it can be for its attendees. We will also hear from our senior members, Professors Charles Foster and Jonathan Herring, and co-convenors, Anne Lansink and Robyn Trigg, as to why they are interested in this area of law and how their research touches upon the topic. We intend for the group to be an open and collegiate forum to discuss a range of issues concerning animal law and animal rights from a number of different perspectives. Food and refreshments will be provided.

Further information about ALDG can be found on our webpage: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/content/animal-law-discussion-group.

If you would like to join the ALDG mailing list, please email animallawdiscussiongroup-subscribe@maillist.ox.ac.uk.

If you have any questions about the ALDG then please contact our co-convenors, Anne Lansink (anna.lansink@law.ox.ac.uk) and Robyn Trigg (robyn.trigg@law.ox.ac.uk). We hope you can join us in Week 4 for our first session!


Megan Blomfield: The Ethics of Refugee Status | 17.00 | Habakkuk Room, Jesus College 

Oxford University Philosophy Society - follow us on Facebook and Twitter @OxfordPhilSoc and online at oxphilsoc.co.uk to stay up to date!

Epistemology Group | 14.00 - 16.00 | Lecture Room 4, New College

A pre-read weekly reading and discussion group on recent work in epistemology, for graduate students and faculty, sometimes with work-in-progress talks. Contact Nick Hughes (nick.hughes@philosophy.ox.ac.uk) or Bernhard Salow (bernhard.salow@magd.ox.ac.uk) to be added to the mailing list.


Oxford Public Philosophy (OPP) Critical Discussion Group | 17.10 - 18.30 | Boyd Room, Hertford College

This critical discussion group is an opportunity to learn about and discuss crucial methods and topics that you can't find on the philosophy syllabus.

More information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1193177554213501/


Hegel Reading Group | 18.30 | Ryle Room, Radcliffe Humanities

We shall continue reading the Phenomenology of Spirit.

Week 4 - 13 February – Individuality which takes itself to be real §§ 394–418

Please contact susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for information. See the website with general information www.hegel.moonfruit.com.

Mereology of Potentiality Work-in-Progress Seminar | 14.00 - 15.30 | Seminar Room, Corpus Christi College

14th February: Giacomo Giannini - TBC

For more information, visit https://www.power-parts.website/weekly-seminars


The Image of the Muslim Woman: a Discussion on Feminism and Islamophobia | 14.00 - 19.00 | New Seminar Room, St John’s College

The seminar (with a final roundtable) will discuss from a phenomenological and feminist perspective the role that the image of the (often veiled) Muslim woman plays in Western society: the aim is to understand how the construction of this image contributes to Islamophobia and racism, as well as to a specific type of misogyny. The speakers are Prof Alia Al-Saji (McGill University) and Dr Amia Yaqin (SOAS). You can find more information on the program on the network webpage: https://torch.ox.ac.uk/event/the-image-of-the-muslim-woman-a-discussion-...

If you would like to take part in the seminar, please email iat@torch.ox.ac.uk by Monday the 10th of February, specifying whether you would like to stay for dinner as well.