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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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Social Sciences — Philosophy
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1.

Thinking Dangerously Living Differently

Philosophy as therapy is an ancient idea. Endorsed by Wittgenstein and popularized by self-help books. But isn't philosophy about understanding even if the insights are uncomfortable? Can philosophy be a dynamic force changing how we think and what we can do? Or does it serve only as a guide to everyday life? The Panel Oxford philosopher Adrian Moore, former priest and author of Wellbeing Mark Vernon and Plato Scholar Angie Hobbs consider the purpose of philosophy.
Online
2017; 2015
2.

The Really Real

Different cultures see the world differently and cultural relativism is a widely accepted outlook. Yet faced with beheadings most of us want to assert that we know what is right and wrong. Do we need a new objectivity to combat the world's evils, or should we give up on the really real as a cultural fantasy? The Panel Philosopher and author of Truth Simon Blackburn, ResPublica director Phillip Blond and New Statesman columnist Myriam Francois-Cerrah debate truth and morality.
Online
2017; 2015
3.

Gandhi Vs Guevara

Gandhi's principle of non-violence made him the father of a nation. But it is Che Guevara whose face has come to represent liberty, justice, and revolution. Whose fantasies play the bigger part in shaping our reality? Does the pacifism of Gandhi or the passion of Che have the greatest power to change the world? The Panel Greenpeace director John Sauven, London Feminist Network founder Finn Mackay and author of The Lives of Others Neel Mukherjee debate the road to revolution.
Online
2017; 2015
4.

The Point of It All

We keep searching for life's meaning, but we still have no answer. The Speaker The Philosopher and the Wolf author Mark Rowlands shows us where we might look.
Online
2017; 2015
5.

The Word and the World

The power of words is a wonder, and language perhaps our greatest skill. Yet the gap between the sound of a bell and its description is huge. Are the limits to language so profound that the big questions of science and philosophy are beyond us? Or can everything be said if we try hard enough? The Panel Director of the New York Institute of Philosophy Paul Boghossian, Wittgenstein biographer and philosopher Ray Monk, and award winning novelist Joanna Kavenna debate the limits of language.
Online
2017; 2015
6.

Story Time

We want news to accurately reflect the real world. But in an age when competing channels with different perspectives are instantly available should we recognize this goal as an illusion? Should we accept that journalists set the world's agenda with their own fictions and fantasies, or is there a framework of objectivity we should require and demand? The Panel Editor of the Sunday Times Insight team Jonathan Calvert, founder of the Reuters Journalism Institute John Lloyd and philosopher and former editor of The World This Week Hilary Lawson examine truth in news. In Association with Huffington Post UK.
Online
2017; 2015
7.

The Tyranny of Evidence

From climate change evidence to cancer scare "facts" we're in love with "the evidence." The Speaker Philosopher and Green politician Rupert Read wants to end the affair.
Online
2017; 2015
8.

Thinking Afresh

We take pride in holding morally and intellectually consistent views about the world. Yet these shift wildly over time, and some see consistency as a patriarchal fiction. Is consistency consistent? Would welcoming a mind in flux open up a world of possibility, or leave us out at sea? The Panel Shahidha Bari asks philosopher of mind and language Barry C. Smith, radical feminist and Guardian journalist Julie Bindel and author of Breakfast with Socrates Robert Rowland Smith to think differently.
Online
2017; 2015
9.

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
10.

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
11.

The Morality of War

The Iraq war left us acutely aware of the dangers of intervening in foreign lands. Yet the outrages of Isis have demanded a response. Do we have a responsibility to protect Western values, or is the high ground held by staying out of it? Or is morality irrelevant in foreign affairs and our interest all that matters? The Panel Former chief speechwriter to Tony Blair, Phillip Collins, and military historian Hew Strachan, clash over the prospect of peace with founder of the Stop the War Coalition Lindsey German.
Online
2017; 2016
12.

A Philosophy of Confidence

Nietzsche famously said 'That which does not kill us makes us stronger', but how should we deal with failure? The speaker, author, and Wired editor Rowland Manthorpe declares war on defeat.
Online
2017; 2016