The Jowett Society


The Jowett Society provides a forum for the discussion of philosophical issues by members of the faculty. 

The Jowett Society dates back to the nineteenth century and was named in honour of Benjamin Jowett. Previous speakers include Russell, Wittgenstein, and Davidson. All are welcome to attend.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings take place on Zoom during term time on Fridays from 5 pm to 7 pm. 


Jowett Society Organising Committee: Sophie Nagler | Jowett Society Website

Past Terms

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Week 1 (22nd January)          

Paul Egré (Institut Jean Nicod/École Normale Supérieure Paris)

On the optimality of vagueness - "Around", "Between", and the Gricean Maxims

Week 3 (5th February)

Branden Fitelson (Northeastern)

Probabilities of Conditionals & Conditional Probabilities

Week 4 (12th February)

Karen Bennett (Rutgers)

Kinds and Groups

Week 5 (19th February)

Gil Sagi (Haifa): Formalization

Normative and Descriptive Aspects

Week 6 (26th February)

Elisabeth Camp (Rutgers)

Just Kidding: Sarcasm, Jokes and Willful Deniability in Speech


Week 1 (16th October) Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers)

''No Money, No Women: From Social Constructionism to Social Relationalism''

Week 4 (6th November) Ginger Schultheis (Chicago)

''Counterfactual Probability''

Week 5 (13th November) Katalin Bimbo (Alberta)

''The development and applications of the Curry–Kripke proof technique''

Week 6 (20th November) Justin Khoo (MIT)

''No fact of the middle''

Week 8 (4th December) Sam Berstler (Princeton)

''The Geometry of Open Secrets''


Week 1 (24th January)

Una Stojnic (Princeton)

Nonnegotiable Meanings
Week 2 (31st January)

Emma Borg (Reading)

Understanding Agency in Others and Ourselves
Week 4 (14th February)

Ben Holguin (NYU)

Thinking, Guessing, and Believing
Week 6 (28th February)

Fabrizio Cariani (Northwestern)

Indirect Evidence and the Easy Foreknowledge Puzzle


Week 1 (18th October)                            Penelope Mackie (University of Nottingham) Essentialism, Context-dependence, and Lewisian Counterpart Theory
Week 2 (25th October) Simon Blackburn (Cambridge) Semantic minimalism and meta-semantic theories
Week 4 (8th November) Peter Fritz (Oslo) Possible Worlds
Week 6 (22nd November) Kevin Dorst (Oxford) Rational Polarization
Week 8 (6th December) Katharina Felka (Graz) Slurs As Asides - A Non-Expressivist Conventional Implicature View

Week 1 (18th January) (Jowett)

Jessie Munton (Cambridge)

'Seeing the past, remembering the present'

Week 2 (25th January(Jowett) Helen Beebee (Manchester) 'Lewis and van Inwagen on the consequence argument'  
Week 3 (1st February) (Philosophical) Kit Fine (NYU) 'Chisholm’s Puzzle and Unconditional Obligation'  
Week 4 (8th February) (Jowett)                               Joel David Hamkins (Univ, Oxford)                       'Potentialism and implicit actualism in the foundations of mathematics'  
Week 5 (15th February) (Jowett) Bernhard Salow (Magdalen, Oxford) 'Sequential Decisions under the Idea of Freedom'  
Week 6 (22th February) (Jowett) Rachael Wiseman (Liverpool) 'Linguistic Idealism and Human Essence'  
Week 7 (1st March) (Philosophical) Lavinia Picollo (UCL) 'Deflationism and Logical Consequence'  
Week 8 (8th March) (Jowett) Anton Ford (Chicago) 'The Objectification of Agency'  

Week 1 (12th October) (Jowett)

Margot Strohminger (Oxford)

'Supposition, Imagination and Offline Belief'

Week 2 (19th October) (Jowett) Nilanjan Das (UCL) 'Externalism and Exploitability' 
Week 3 (26th October) (Jowett) Andrew Chignell (Princeton) 'Knowledge and Ignorance in Kant'
Week 4 (2nd November) (Jowett)       John Carriero (UCLA) 'Spinoza and Our Ontological Demotion'
Week 7 (23rd November) (Phil.) Georgi Gardiner (Oxford) 'Profiling and Proof: Are Statistics Safe?'
Week 8 (30th November) (Jowett) Maria Alvarez (King's College London) 'Agency, Abilities and Control'

Week 1 (27th April) (Jowett)

John Hawthorne (USC)

"Chrisholm's Paradox"

Week 2 (4th May) (Jowett) Murat Aydede (UBC) "What is pain in a body part?"
Week 4 (17th May) (Jowett)                      Ian Proops (UT)                                              "The inestimatable world: Kant's resolution of the mathematical antinomies"
Week 5 (24th May) (Phil.) Fraser MacBride (Mancester) TBA
Week 6 (31st May) (Jowett) Miriam Schoenfield (MIT) TBA
Week 8 (14th June) (Jowett) Helen Beebee (Manchester) TBA