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Institute of Art and Ideas: Cutting Edge Debates and Talks From the World's Leading Thinkers
Thought and Thinking
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Strange New Worlds: Imagining Reality

From writing to art, the intense to the light hearted, imagination transports us to untold fantasy worlds. Yet Picasso claimed "everything you can imagine is real." Should we dismiss this as the overblown claims of a celebrity artist, or might what we take to be reality actually be the product of imagination? The Panel Literary critic Terry Eagleton, New york University philosopher Paul Boghossian and Chocolat author Joanne Harris find places where reality ends and the power of imagination begins.
2016; 2015

The Fantasy of Money: Are There Alternatives to Currency?

When backed by gold money had a real value. Yet now it floats free, a fantasy made real by our belief. Are there alternative fantasies that we could create to generate different and perhaps better realities? Or is there something special about the fantasy of money that makes it irreplaceable? The Panel Guardian columnist Stephen Hewlitt asks CEO of Timebanking UK Sarah Bird, reporter for the Financial Times Izabella Kaminska and The Social Life of Money author Nigel Dodd to explore the alternatives to money.
2016; 2015

Time, Space and Being: Are Space and Time Just a Human Fantasy?

We think space and time are the structure of the universe. Yet Einstein argued 'space and time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.' And philosophers, Kant and Heidegger, saw space and time as the framework of thought not the world. Are space and time just a human fantasy? The Panel Physicist and author of The End of Time Julian Barbour, Cambridge metaphysician Huw Price and philosopher of science Michela Massimi think outside space and time.
2016; 2015