Digest Week 5 Michaelmas Term 2020

MT20, Week 5 (8th - 14th November)

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. 

Unless otherwise stated, all events will take place online.

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

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Seminar on Hans Blumenberg | 17:00 |  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89764748793 

Speaker: Paul Fleming (Cornell)  | Giving Pause: Blumenberg and Freud 


The London Mind Group | 16:00-17:00pm | Online

Speaker: Joulia Smortchkova (Oxford) | TBA
In order to keep numbers manageable, it is an expectation of participation that one has read the paper in advance. To receive the papers, please sign up to our mailing list on our website.
Please direct any questions to Alex Grzankowski at alex.grzankowski@gmail.com


Ethics of AI in Healthcare Webinar | 11:00 – 12:15pm PT // 14:00pm – 15:15pm ET | Online

The discussion will be hosted by David Magnus, PhD, and include panelists Danton Char, MD; Michelle Mello, JD, PhD, MPhil; Michael Abramoff, MD, PhD, FARVO; and Niranjan Karnik, MD, PhD.

Further information here


Fireside Chat with the Warden & Michael Sandel | 20:00-21:30 | Online

We would like to invite you to this fireside chat with Elizabeth Kiss (Virginia & Balliol 1983) and Michael Sandel (Massachusetts & Balliol 1975) to talk about Michael's new book 'The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?'

This event is not open to the public. Please feel free to submit any questions in advance to alumni@rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk, or you can use the chat function within Zoom to ask questions directly during the live event.

Please register via EventBrite


Plato Reading Group | 14:00–16:00 | Online

This term, we continue reading the Theaetetus. At the start of the term, we were at 168c5; the specific section of the week is sent around by email in advance. Each session is led by a person appointed in the preceding session, preparing the translation of the agreed-upon section of the text especially diligently. The sessions consist in the presenter’s translation of the passage and discussion of whatever interesting or uncertain point that arises, whenever it arises. We use the Greek text (OCT) as the basis for our discussion, and everybody should have prepared the week’s section in advance. People who do not know Greek or are just starting to learn it are welcome to attend. 

If you want to be included in the email list, please subscribe here.

For more information please email hermann.koerner@philosophy.ox.ac.uk.


Oxford Climate Research Virtual Showcase | 17:00 | Online 

Bringing together students and researchers from across Oxford University to informally discuss climate research and build connections.

This event is for you, regardless of whether you're a student, existing researcher, or public, whether you're just starting to get interested in learning about climate, exploring potential career paths, or seeking research collaborators, and everything in between.

Register here.  

'Non-Western' Philosophy Q&A | 15:00 | Online 

Do you want to learn about 'non-Western' philosophy beyond and within your curriculum as a student at Oxford but you are not sure where to start? Do you want to study 'non-Western' philosophy at the graduate level but you are not sure how to choose between programmes? Whether you have questions, or you are just curious, join Philiminality in order to talk with trailblazing grad students already doing it.

Lea Cantor (Ancient Chinese & Greek Philosophies), will address the notion of 'non-Western' philosophy and together with two more graduates, Jonathan Egid (African Philosophy) & Zulhaqem Bin Zulkifli (Buddhist Philosophy), will discuss the two different 'non-Western' philosophies with which they engage via different routes. We'll end with an open Q&A.

Join via Zoom   Meeting ID: 893 8418 5477   Passcode: PhilimQ&A

Facebook page


Alternative Curricula discussion group | 17:00 | Online

Decolonisation: theory, metaphor, practice?

Decolonisation is a powerfully emotive term which is interpreted in multiple ways. In this session we will explore some of the ways that decolonisation has been theorised and discuss the effects of these theorisations.

For more details and a link to join the conversation, sign up to the Alternative Curricula mailing list at altcurricula@gmail.com

Further information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/altcurricula.


Hegel Reading Group | The Phenomenology of Spirit | 18:00-19:30 | Online

The Hegel Reading Group continues to meet by Skype on Wednesdays 18.00-19.30. New readers are welcome.

We are reading 'The Phenomenology of Spirit' (any translation), this week paras 461-465. Please contact susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link.

Book Launch: Business, Human Rights and Transitional Justice | 12:30-14:00 | Online via Zoom

Speaker: Dr Irene Pietropaoli (British Institute of International and Comparative Law)

The event will be held via the online platform Zoom and will require prior registration


Future of Technology and Society Discussion Group | 14:00 - 15:00 | Online - Microsoft Teams

Speaker: Prof. Anita L. Allen (University of Pennsylvania): Protecting One’s Own Privacy in a Big Data Economy

Please contact Beril Boz for registration and access link.


Oxford Philosophy, Law, and Politics (PLP, formerly Byrne) Seminar for Students | 14:00-16:00 | Online

Seminar with Ruth Chang on Samuel Scheffler 

If you wish to attend please email oxfordplpevents@gmail.com 


Africana Philosophy discussion group | 17:00 | Online

Speaker: Tommy J Curry - Africana philosophy as a decolonial method

Visit our facebook page for the zoom links or our website to sign up to our mailing list.


Leading Beyond the Crisis  | 18:30-19:30 | Online

The Oxford Character Project warmly invites you to an Oxford-wide leadership discussion in the wake of the US election: ‘Leading beyond the crisis. The event will feature eminent commentators David Brooks (New York Times) Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw (Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery) and Elizabeth Kiss (The Rhodes Trust) and will explore the kind of leaders and leadership we need to face the challenges of our time.

Further information here.  The event will also be live streamed via our website.

Twitter : @Oxfordcharacter


‘Trans Rights and Cancel Culture’ | 19:00-20:00 | Online

In this talk from Oxford scientist and LGBT+ role model Dr Clara Barker, we'll be hearing about 'cancel culture', considering where the limits in "cancelling" someone lie, and whether we can differentiate between redeemable mistakes and unacceptable speech.

Facebook event here,or register directly.


Joseph Butler Society | 20:15 to 21:45 | Online

Speaker: Robert Stern (Sheffield) - Can we make ourselves morally better?  Murdoch and Løgstrup on evil, grace, and techniques of unselfing

This paper will consider how the thought of Iris Murdoch and K. E. Løgstrup can be compared on the issue of ’techniques of unselfing’ - namely, whether there are techniques we can use to make ourselves focus less on ourselves and more on others, and thus make ourselves morally better. It will be argued that while Murdoch and Løgstrup agree on many fundamental issues, including our underlying egoistic self-concern, Løgstrup would question the coherence of Murdoch’s idea that we can make ourselves morally better through our own efforts -- and that in the background of his critique lies a very Lutheran worry about Aristotelian ethics as involving too much emphasis on our own agency, and not enough emphasis on grace. It will therefore be suggested that this debate between Løgstrup and Murdoch echoes a familiar Reformation debate but in a more secular context.

Register here.

Oxford Philosophy, Law, and Politics (PLP, formerly Byrne) Colloquium | 15:00-17:00 | Online via Zoom

Thomas Sinclair (Philosophy) engages with Samuel Scheffler (NYU)

PLP is a new interdisciplinary colloquium series that brings together theorists from philosophy, politics, law, and beyond to discuss works-in-progress by distinguished visiting scholars. The day before each Colloquium, we also organise an accompanying student seminar, during which Prof Ruth Chang discusses that session's paper with students. For more information, see here

If you wish to attend please email oxfordplpevents@gmail.com