Digest Week 8 Michaelmas Term 2020

MT20, Week 8 (29th November - 5th December)

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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Effective Altruism Concepts Workshop | 10:00 - 17:00 | Online via Zoom

Sign up here

Effective Altruism is a growing social movement that aims to use reason and evidence to find the actions that help others the most. In this workshop, we’ll equip you with some of the tools we think are necessary for this, within rationality, ethics and strategy. It will involve presentation content, group discussions and fun exercises to apply the concepts in practical situations.  If you aren’t familiar with EA, then we encourage you to read some of these intro articles before applying, to see if it’s right for you. If you have any questions about whether to attend, please contact alan.taylor@univ.ox.ac.uk.

Racial Transition | 13:00-14:45 | Online via Zoom

Speaker: Yuvraj Joshi (Yale Law School)

The events will be held via the online platform Zoom and will require prior registration. For further details on how to register and join the webinars, please watch this space and visit our events webpage - the latter will be updated regularly.

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.


AI and Human Rights: Promise and Peril for the 21st Century | 18:00 | Webinar

The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Professor Louise Richardson invites you to join a webinar featuring the first Director of Oxford’s Institute for Ethics in AI, Professor John Tasioulas moderated by Mr. Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times, with welcoming remarks by Mr. Stephen A. Schwarzman.

Registration is now closed.

Workshop: Recent Work on the Ethics of Consent, Part I | 16.30-19.30 | Online via Zoom

Maximilian Kiener (Oxford): When Do Nudges Undermine Voluntary Consent?
Neil Manson (Lancaster): A Partial Map? What the Philosophy of Consent Leaves Out

Maximilian Kiener's draft paper will be circulated to the participants about two weeks in advance of the workshop. Neil Manson will present his paper at the workshop. Handouts may be circulated just before the event.

We encourage colleagues and especially postgraduate students to attend. Please spread the word. All are welcome, but registration is essential. The link to the Zoom meeting location will be emailed to the registered participants.

For schedule, abstracts for the presentations, and other information, please visit the Eventbrite page


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 470-476. Please contact susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link.


Africana Philosophy discussion group |  17:00 | Online

Speaker: Nkiru Nzegwu - Feminism and Africana philosophy 

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


Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination: the arguments for and against | 17:00-18:00 | Online

Speakers: A conversation with Prof Julian Savulescu & Dr Samantha Vanderslott

With COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, attention again returns to the contentious topic of whether vaccination should be made mandatory. Recent polling has resulted in worrying headlines about a lack of willingness to have a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available. Are mandates the answer to ensure vaccine high uptake to end the pandemic? While still a hypothetical scenario, without yet having a safe and effective vaccine approved for use, this could change in the coming months. The question of introducing mandatory vaccination spans considerations of personal liberty, health decision-making, public health and policy, as well as the relationship between the state and its citizens. Join Professor Julian Savulescu and Dr Samantha Vanderslott to debate the ethical and public policy arguments for and against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.

To register and watch live: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/mandatory-covid-19-vaccination

To watch at a later date: https://youtu.be/uXLaxP3VRu8