Digest Week 4 Trinity Term 2024

TT24, Week 4 (12 May - 18 May)

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

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How to do public philosophy:  a lunchtime workshop with Anastasia Berg 

Location: Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building.  

Time: 1230-2pm, 13th May 2024. 

This is a workshop aimed at graduate students and early career researchers in philosophy and cognate fields who would like to do public philosophy. Public philosophy is an increasingly valued pursuit, but it requires skills and knowledge not imparted by most graduate training.  

In this workshop you will:

Learn what makes for successful public philosophy, 

Learn the common mistakes that philosophers make when doing public writing, and how to avoid them, 

Learn how to craft a pitch for an editor, 

Learn how to approach an editor with an idea, 

Have the option of getting feedback from Anastasia on a pitch.

Anastasia Berg (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is a senior editor at The Point magazine—an American literary magazine which has published philosophers like Martha Nussbaum, Agnes Callard, Robert Pippin, and Raymond Geuss. Anastasia’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and the LA Review of Books. Her first book, What Are Children For? On Ambivalence and Choice, is forthcoming with St Martin’s Press in the US and Oneworld Publications in the UK.

Any queries contact rachel.fraser@exeter.ox.ac.uk


What Are Children For? On Ambivalence and Choice 

A symposium with Anastasia Berg (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) 

 With comments from Tom Whyman (Liverpool),  Maya Krishnan (All Souls), and Rachel Fraser (Oxford).

Location: Fitzhugh Auditorium, Exeter College Cohen Quad, Walton Street

Time: 3.15-5.15pm 13th May 2024

Whether or not to have children? It’s hard to ask a more loaded question. Money, health, career, love, embodiment, family, and climate change are all potentially at stake. Parenthood is also increasingly politicised — caught up in the fight over women’s reproductive rights, as well as debates over climate and AI doomerism. In What Are Children For? Anastasia Berg and Rachel Wiseman critically probe the sources of our ambivalence, andambivalence and ask whether it is still possible to affirm the value of human life in a time of uncertainty and conflict. In this symposium, Anastasia will discuss some of the arguments of her new book, and respond to questions and critiques from three different commentators.  

Any queries contact rachel.fraser@exeter.ox.ac.uk


Oxford University Philosophy Society

Professor Peter Hacker on Consciousness

Where: Lecture Room, Radcliffe Humanities

When: 7 pm, Monday 13th May

Abstract: Since the essay on what it is like to be a bat by Thomas Nagel fifty years ago, Colin McGinn's mysterianism, and David Chalmers's pan-psychism, there have been fewer hotter potatoes in the philosophical kitchen than the subject of consciousness. In this talk I shall cool the potato down and slice it into slices fit for rational consumption. The method of demystification is the method of the three C-s: connective, contrastive, an contextual logico-grammatical analysis. The concept of consciousness is a concept with multiple centres of variation. The beginning of wisdom is to distinguish between intransitive and transitive consciousness. Within transitive consciousness, we must distinguish perceptual consciousness from other varieties. Perceptual consciousness is a form of cognitive receptivity that has biological, evolutionary, roots. Other centres of variation to be analysed are reflective -consciousness of facts, consciousness of one's actions (qua actor and qua spectator), consciousness of one's feelings, and the various forms of self-consciousness. The conceptual overview dispels all mysteries and removes all mystification.


Joseph Butler Society

Tuesday 14 May

Oriel College, Large SCR, 8:30 pm

Brian Leftow, Rutgers - 'God's Aseity'

Further details here: http://josephbutlersociety.weebly.com/

The 2024 John Stuart Mill Lecture

Wrongs not righted: Mill, Morant Bay and the Limits of Liberalism

Professor Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of History, Chair of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery, Department of History, University College London

Thursday 16th May 2024, Flora Anderson Hall, Somerville College

It is with pleasure that we invite you to the 2024 John Stuart Mill Lecture. This year’s lecture, Wrongs not righted: Mill, Morant Bay and the Limits of Liberalism, is delivered by Professor Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of History, Chair of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery, Department of History, University College London. It takes place on Thursday 16th May, at 5.30pm in Somerville’s Flora Anderson Hall and it will be followed by refreshments.

In this lecture, Prof. Hall will reflect on the long, entangled and unequal relation between Britain and Jamaica: the wrongs of slavery and colonialism that are not only not requited but continue to damage the lives of Jamaican people. Her focus will then turn to the events of 1865-6, the rebellion at Morant Bay and Mill’s unsuccessful attempts to assert the need for impartial justice in the Empire. Neither liberalism nor neo-liberalism can meet the challenge of structural inequalities and systemic racisms.

To indicate your interest in attending the lecture, please register here.