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Institute of Art and Ideas: Cutting Edge Debates and Talks From the World's Leading Thinkers (Series 2)
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Psychology
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1.

Fantasy and Reality

In the topsy-turvy wonderland of the postmodern age, many of us are lost. From Baudrillard to blockbusters, cyberspace to statecraft, the contemporary world is a pageant of fantasies. Should we "get real" and see reality as more than cultural consensus, or can we embrace fantasy and build better lives? The Panel Oxford neuroscientist and director of The Human Mind Project Colin Blakemore, anthropologist Dan Everett and dystopian fiction author Richard K. Morgan find fantasy in reality.
Online
2017; 2015
2.

It's an Immaterial World

We think we understand what the world is made of. Atoms and, we are now told, bosons, quarks and leptons. Yet our theory of matter does not explain thought. Do we need a radically new model to explain how material things and immaterial thought are connected? The Panel American metaphysician John Heil, Biologist and author of The Science Delusion Rupert Sheldrake, and Australian philosopher of mind Daniel Stoljar think about thinking.
Online
2017; 2014
3.

Madness Incorporated

From depression to bipolar disorder, we think psychiatric diagnoses are real. Yet many now argue that categories of mental illness have little basis in nature. Is it time to abandon psychiatry and its classifications? Would this usher in a new era of effective health care or cause widespread harm? The panel President-elect of the World Psychiatric Association Dinesh Bhugra, radical psychiatrist David Healy and clinical psychologist Richard Bentall debate the future of psychiatry.
Online
2017; 2014
4.

Rebel With a Cause

We often see community as good and modern culture as individualistic and self-centered. Yet from Salem to Auschwitz, Rwanda to Yugoslavia, communities are capable of horrors. Should we be suspicious of crowds and encourage rebels to keep the pack at bay? Or is solidarity with our fellow humans the way to a better life? The Panel Former chief speechwriter to Prime Minister Tony Blair, Philip Collins, regular presenter of The World Tonight and PM Ritula Shah, political theorist, theologian and leading proponent of "Red Toryism" Phillip Blond, and Conservative Party MP Charlotte Leslie debate the merits of community.
Online
2017; 2015
5.

Acutal Consciousness

Are our minds confined to our bodies? The speaker and eminent philosopher, Ted Honderich, uncovers the true reach of human consciousness.
Online
2017; 2015
6.

Forgetting to Be Me

Memory forms the very fabric of our selves. Yet we forget vastly more than we remember, and we embellish until we no longer trust our own minds. Should we accept that true memory is a fantasy? Does this risk chaos in our courts or liberate us to think ourselves and our culture anew? The Panel Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami Mark Rowlands, Chair for the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Sheffield Angie Hobbs and author of Willful Blindness Margaret Heffernan interrogate memory.
Online
2017; 2015
7.

Moral Animals and Our Place in the Universe

We think of morality as being uniquely human. Yet some evolutionary biologists claim that animals exhibit moral behavior. Is morality an evolved behavior and not especially human after all? If so, is good and bad the outcome of evolution, or is morality written into the universe from the outset? The Panel Oxford Evolutionary Psychologist Oliver Scott Curry, naturalist and broadcaster Colin Tudge and Warwick Politics and Philosophy professor Tom Sorrell debate the evolution of morality. Angela Saini hosts.
Online
2017; 2015
8.

Romancing Opiates

What is the strange allure of opiate addiction? The speaker, author, and former prison psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple argues his personal take on the problems poppies pose.
Online
2017; 2016
9.

Of Lies and Necessities

From lying politicians to dishonest lovers, we judge deception harshly and demand honesty and truth as core values. Yet small and not-so-small lies have a habit of creeping into our lives. Is it possible to be completely honest - and would it be desirable? Is lying a necessity for life or should we insist on honesty as a means for social cohesion and trusting relationships? The Panel Peter Curran trusts Cambridge feminist philosopher Rae Langton, Warwick professor of Philosophy and Politics Tom Sorrell and Cambridge post-doctoral researcher Sophie Van der Zee to give honest answers.
Online
2017; 2015
10.

Making Humans

Dawkins’ Selfish Gene has defined how we think about evolution. But now the new science of epigenetics suggests culture and the environment can play a part. Is the age of the selfish gene over? Do we need a new story to replace the survival of the fittest, or is Darwin’s essential insight secure? The Panel Oxford evolutionary psychologist Oliver Scott Curry, neo-Lamarckian and author of Evolution in Four Dimensions Eva Jablonka, and biologist Rupert Sheldrake look beyond the genetic revolution.
Online
2017; 2015
11.

A Checklist for Sanity

Have we reduced mental health diagnosis to a challenge for checklists? The speaker and consultant psychiatrist Mark Salter considers what to do when patients say "I tick all the boxes".
Online
2017; 2015
12.

Positive Thinking and the Name Game

When we are ill we want a name for our illness. Yet every case is different, and as placebos indicate, how we think also matters. Could we be healthier if we were less attached to naming illness? Can we improve our health by improving our mind, or is this an old lie peddled by quacks? The Panel President of the World Psychiatric Association Dinesh Bhugra, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at UWE Havi Carel, Deputy Editor of the BBC’s Parliamentary Programmes Sean Curran and Professor in Psychological Medicine David Healy discuss what’s in a name.
Online
2017; 2015
13.

Truth, Lies and Self-Deception

It is not an unusual human trait to imagine we are good when we are not, that we are loved when this is implausible, that we are selfless when we are selfish. But deep down, don't we know the truth? Can’t we see ourselves clearly if we want to? Or is self-deception real, in which case, who is doing the deceiving? The Panel President of the Royal College of Psychiatry Simon Wessely, author of Nothing Janne Teller, and UCL neuroscientist Parashkev Nachev seek answers.
Online
2017; 2015
14.

The Puzzle of Progress

Western culture is a story of technological advance, medical miracles, and material progress. But depression and suicide rates have oddly not diminished. Why have advances not brought us the good life? Is technology and material benefit irrelevant to our inner being or should we be more thankful for the riches we have? The Panel Barry C. Smith asks philosopher and author of Middle Age Christopher Hamilton, digital editor of Newsweek Serena Kutchinsky and explorer Bruce Parry how far we have come.
Online
2017; 2016