Digest Week 6 Michaelmas Term 2022

MT22, Week 6 (13th-19th 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. 

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

Oxford Wittgenstein Reading Group, St Hilda's (Canada Room) 5.00 -7.00 pm.

See http://wrgoxford.blogspot.com for details of how to join / the text under discussion


Effective Altruism event: Shakeel Hashim on journalism: A high impact career? 6.00 pm | H B Allen Centre

Traditional media—film, TV, newspapers—have large audiences and influence over culture. But how good an opportunity are they if you want to use your career to do good?
In this talk you'll hear from Shakeel Hashim, previous News Editor at the Economist and current Head of Communications at the Centre for Effective Altruism.
He'll talk about the considerations for and against pursuing a career in journalism to try and make the world better. He'll also give advice about how to make it in the world of journalism for those who know they want to follow suit.
As always, everyone is very welcome. There will be a social and free food after the talk.

Hegel Reading Group

The Hegel Reading Group meets in term weekly on Tuesdays 6-7.30 pm by Skype. We continue with Hegel's 'Phenomenology of Spirit'; we are now at 'Spirit that is certain of itself. Morality', starting from paragraph 596 of the Miller translation (OUP 1977) although any translation may be used. Each week's reading is posted on hegelinoxford.wordpress.com

To join the Skype group or for enquiries contact susanne.herrmann-sinai@ philosophy.ox.ac.uk or louise.braddock@philosophy.ox.ac.uk


The Faraday Institute Research Seminars | 1.00 pm

Dr Hannah Waite – Science and Religion: Is Gender an issue?

Visit faraday.institute/seminars


AGI Governance: Why and How? (Sam Clarke, GovAI) | 6.00-7.00 pm | Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Statistics OX1 3LB

Three claims motivate the field of AGI Governance:
(1) We are fairly likely to have artifical general intelligence (AGI) this century;
(2) AGI would radically transform society; and
(3) AGI would potentially lead to a global catastrophe or worse.


In this talk, Sam will defend these three claims and their implications for AGI governance. He'll go on to outline some kinds of work that seem promising for reducing these risks, and some of the organisations doing this work.


Sam Clarke is the Strategy Manager at GovAI, and responsible for answering high-level questions regarding GovAI’s programmes and the overall direction of the organisation. He holds an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Oxford, and is a research affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (University of Cambridge).


Sam’s talk will be followed by a Q&A and social, with food and drinks provided.

Catastrophes of the 21st Century, Queen’s College (Shulman Theatre), 5.00 – 6.15 pm

Professor Roger Pielke, Jr, Professor in the Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado Boulder

There are few ways to better display our ignorance than by speculating on the long-term future. At the same time, making wise decisions depends upon both anticipating an uncertain future and the limits of what we can know. As the world continues to deal with and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, this talk takes a broad look at global trends in place today, where they may be taking us, and the implications for thinking about catastrophes of the 21st century. The talk offers recommendations for what a robust and resilient global society might look like in the face of known, unknown and unknowable risks of the 21st century.

Also coming up


Metaphysics and Language Reading Group | 4:15-5:45pm | New College (Spooner Room 1)

A weekly pre-read reading group on topics in metaphysics and philosophy of language, focusing this term on predicate reference and properties. The reading for week 5 is David Wiggins (1984) - 'The sense and reference of predicates: A running repair to Frege's doctrine and a plea for the copula'.

Please contact katherine.hong@philosophy.ox.ac.uk to be added to the mailing list for future readings. 


Joseph Butler Society, Oriel College (Large SCR), 8.30 - 10 pm

Lydia Schumacher, King's College London

'Beyond', 'Above' or 'Against' Nature? Early Scholastic Debates on the Status of Miracles

See The Joseph Butler Society - Events (weebly.com) for more information.

Oxford Ancient Languages Society—Talk: Learning Latin in the Roman Empire | 4.00 pm | Jesus College

Professor Eleanor Dickey

How did people learn Latin during the Roman Empire? Not those who grew up speaking it, but those who had to learn it as a foreign language? We know how they did it, because their textbooks and exercises have been recovered on papyrus and in some cases even survived via the medieval manuscript tradition. In this workshop we will look at some of the evidence for different methods of Latin learning, both as photographs of the originals and as modern reconstructions, and practise writing on wax tablets as ancient students would have done.

The talk, hosted by OALS, will take place in Jesus College, from 4:00 PM. The lecture will be in Latin, but questions and comments in English will be welcome too, especially in the discussion. After the talk, we will provide drinks and nibbles. If you are interested in attending, please write to althea.sovani@some.ox.ac.uk or nicholas.romanos@worc.ox.ac.uk.