Digest Week 6 Trinity Term 2024

TT24, Week 6 (26 May - 1 June)

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

Expand All

Philosophical Fellowship Fund Distinguished Lecture 

Date: Tuesday 28 May

Time: 17.00-18.30

Location: Lecture Room, Faculty of Philosophy, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG

Professor Jiwei Ci (University of Oxford), ‘The Idea of Democratization: With Brief Reflections on China and the Democracies’

Abstract:  Talk of the crisis of democracy has been around for decades and seems here to stay. Such talk is misleading, because the presupposed idea of democracy as the property of a state form and of democratization as progress toward such a state form is misguided. I propose assigning priority to democratization as a contingent and reversible process rather than democracy as a normative end state, actual or projected. Taking this order of priority as my point of departure, I will proceed to sketch some elements of a theory of democratization, followed by brief reflections on the current state of democratization in China and in the democracies.

As a recognised leader in his field, Professor Jiwei Ci is pursuing research and teaching in the Oxford Faculty of Philosophy. He is regarded by many as one of the most significant Chinese political thinkers of this century. Professor Ci is the author of four profound and influential volumes: Dialectic of the Chinese Revolution: From Utopianism to Hedonism (Stanford University Press, 1994); The Two Faces of Justice (Harvard University Press, 2003); Moral China in the Age of Reform (Cambridge University Press, 2014); and Democracy in China: The Coming Crisis (Harvard University Press, 2019). He previously held Research Fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University. In Oxford, he delivered a Keynote Address ‘Crises of Legitimacy in Europe and (Especially) China’ for the 2016 Europaeum Summer School on China and Europe. 

Souls, psychophysical harmony and theism

Do souls exist, what is psychophysical harmony, and do either of them have any implications for our broader worldview? Dr. Dustin Crummet will present on arguments for substance dualism (the existence of souls), explain what psychophysical harmony is, and put forward an argument for theism based on it. After the presentation, the audience will be invited to take part in an extended Q&A, or a ‘grill the professor’ type event. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask Dustin questions on any of the content he presented on, with the opportunity for some back and forth (each audience member will have approximately up to 5 minutes of back and forth at a time).

Location: Tsuzuki Lecture Theatre, St Anne’s College

Time: 7:15 pm

Date: Wednesday 29th May

Sign up form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jDz9E2DsNHkkDfgzyWEVjwmSaNoo14oS1jqLVs3-Y3o/viewform?edit_requested=true&fbzx=1936720105559487036   

About the speaker:

Dr. Dustin Crummet received his PhD from the University of Notre Dame and is an affiliate instructor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma. He is also the Executive Director of the Insect Institute. Dustin has written twenty-seven papers and book chapters (published or forthcoming). The most relevant paper to this event is the paper Psychophysical Harmony: A Novel Argument for Theism which he co-authored with Brian Cutter (link to paper: https://philpapers.org/archive/CUTPHA.pdf).

Oxford University Philosophy Society
Virtual Subjects, Fugitive Selves: Fernando Pessoa’s Philosophy of Self

When? Thursday 30th May, 19:00-20:30
Where? Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College

Professor Jonardon Ganeri (Toronto), 2024 John Locke Lecturer, will join Professor Cláudia Pazos-Alonso and Dr Andrzej Stuart-Thompson from Oxford’s Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages to discuss the work of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and the importance of his work to the philosophy of self.

The abstract of Professor Ganeri’s book on the subject, Virtual Subjects, Fugitive Selves, is as follows:

Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935) has become many things to many people in the years that have passed since his untimely death. For some he is simply the greatest Portuguese poet of the twentieth century. For others he has gradually emerged as a forgotten voice in twentieth-century modernism. And yet Pessoa was also a philosopher, and it is only very recently that the philosophical importance of his work has begun to attract the attention it deserves. Pessoa composed systematic philosophical essays in his pre-heteronymic period, defending rationalism in epistemology and sensationism in the philosophy of mind. His heteronymic work, decisively breaking with the conventional strictures of systematic philosophical writing, is a profound and exquisite exploration in the philosophy of self. Virtual Subjects, Fugitive Selves draws together the strands of this philosophy and rearticulates it in a way that does justice to Pessoa’s breathtaking originality. 

Event is free for members and £3 for non-members
Sign up for membership here: https://www.oxford-philsoc.org/membership

HAPP One-Day Conference "The Philosophy of Cosmology"

Location: Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG

Date: Saturday 1st June 2024, 10:30 am - 17:00 pm BST

A primeval desire to understand the cosmos has existed since antiquity and some of the mysteries of the early Universe and its evolution have been revealed as scientific knowledge and philosophical understanding have developed over the millennia. This conference will consider the profound questions that lie at the intersection of cosmology, metaphysics and epistemology - it will seek to scrutinise the origins of the Universe and theories on the cosmos and its evolution as well as the methodologies and models used to comprehend these.

Registration to attend this conference is free but booking is required to attend the conference either in person or online. Further information about registration here