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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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21.

In Place of Prejudice

In a secular age morality is very much alive and kicking. Yet without divine authority, morality risks being wheeled out in support of convictions, prejudices and favored institutions. Can rationality or transcendental values put morality on a firmer footing? Or is there a case for abandoning talk of morality altogether? On Habit author Clare Carlisle, outspoken bio-ethicist John Harris, and NCH Philosopher Naomi Goulder question the fantasy of morality.
Online
2017; 2015
22.

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
23.

The Elegant Truth

From Charles Darwin to Watson and Crick, scientists seek truth in beauty. The Speaker Cambridge philosopher and Leverhulmen Trust Fellow Angela Breitenbach investigates elegance.
Online
2017; 2015
24.

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
25.

21st Century Cults

From Krishna Consciousness to Scientology, how do cults survive in the modern world? The Speaker Author and new religion expert Eileen Barker reveals a common thread.
Online
2017; 2015
26.

Ideology and the East

Are the idealogies of the West distorting the portrayal of the violence of ISIS? Is Islam really the root of the problem? The Speaker Myriam Francois-Cerrah argues that the terror in the East has little to do with religion.
Online
2017; 2015
27.

A Goldilocks World

Copernicus and Darwin taught us to be skeptical of feeling we were special. Yet from the size of the electron to the cosmological constant our universe is strangely fine-tuned for life. Is this a spectacularly fortuitous accident? Has the universe been tailored for us or do the theories just make it look that way? The Panel New York philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, M-Theorist, and author of Universe or Multiverse? Bernard Carr and Oxford constructor theorist Chiara Marletto wonder why we are here.
Online
2017; 2016
28.

Rethinking Feminism

We think feminism fights for equality for everyone. But from the right to wear headscarves to the refusal of contraception, ideas of what is fair and what equality is vary dramatically. Does feminism lack a universal goal because its an impossible dream? Must we recognize feminism means different things in different places or should we all fight for the same thing? Outspoken journalist Myriam Francois-Cerrah, award-winning novelist Elif Safak, feminist activist Finn Mackay, and Unilever Chief HR Officer Leena Nair investigate cross-cultural views of gender equality. Mary Ann Sieghart hosts.
Online
2017; 2016
29.

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
30.

The Universe Code

We think information provides facts about the world around us. Yet some in quantum physics now claim that information is primary, more fundamental than matter. Could information provide the ultimate constituents of the world? Or is this a delusion borne from the specific and passing vocabulary of a digital age? The Panel Emeritus Oxford chemist Peter Atkins, quantum physics information pioneer Chiara Marletto and author of Everything Must Go James Ladyman decode the universe.
Online
2017; 2015
31.

Science, Magic and the Inexplicable

In our scientific age magic has been reduced to conjurers and wands. Yet, Newton and Wittgenstein saw the accounts of science as ultimately inexplicable. Should we see our theories as limited and in a sense magical or would this undermine all knowledge? The Panel Templeton Prize winning cosmologist George FR Ellis, philosopher and Slavoj Zizek collaborator John Milbank and Oxford quantum information theorist Chiara Marletto uncover the limits of explanation.
Online
2017; 2015
32.

Women and Conquest

Once it was men who counted sexual conquests as a sign of their prowess. Now in the age of Tinder a new generation of women are doing the same. Is this empowering and liberating and at the same time a challenge to conventional sociobiology? Or is it a wrong turn on the road to equality? The Panel Screw the Fairytale author Helen Croydon, activist Beatrix Campbell and founder of Coco de Mer Sam Roddick go in search of new conquests. Melissa Benn hosts.
Online
2017; 2015
33.

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
34.

Imagining Reality

None of us believe Mr. Darcy or Oliver Twist are real, no matter how much we might wish it so. Yet fiction's most fantastical creations have a habit of leaping into reality. Does imagination create reality, and if so, do we need to conjure new visions of better worlds to relegate the darkness of the present? The Panel Author of the Thursday Next series Jasper Fforde, The Ego Trick author Julian Baggini, and author of The Utopia Experiment Dylan Evans confront the limits of reality.
Online
2017; 2015
35.

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
36.

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
37.

A World Without Borders

From the Olympics to the UN we celebrate national identity and culture. Yet nations are typically the source of warfare and conflict. Would we be better to get rid of nations and borders in favor of a wider, ultimately global, community? Or are we less fearful of warfare than the tyranny of a peace imposed by a central government? The Panel Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, author of Global Covenant David Held and Prospect journalist Sameer Rahim imagine a borderless world.
Online
2017; 2016
38.

Dance of Life

Our life is made up of experiences. But what experience is remains a mystery. Heidegger thought it inexplicable and neuroscientists cannot find its location. Do we just need a better theory to uncover its secrets? Or is experience somehow both all that we have and yet not part of this world? The Panel Hard problem of consciousness formulator David Chalmers, Oxford philosopher Peter Hacker and New York neuroscientist Susana Martinez-Conde debate the mystery of experience.
Online
2017; 2016
39.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Seeing is believing. Yet, optical illusions and acid trips make it clear that what we see is a function of what we think and believe. Might perception and experience be a creative response to the world enabling us to live in a strange and unknowable world? Or do they provide a direct link to reality? The panel: Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami Berit Brogaard, neuroscientist at UCL Karl Friston, philosopher and award-winning broadcaster Hillary Lawson, and director and presenter of BBC and Channel 4 documentaries David Malone discuss how what we perceive corresponds to reality.
Online
2017; 2015
40.

Return of the Pagans

Once paganism was seen as an antiquated belief system that modern frameworks had made redundant. Now it is claimed paganism is one of the fastest growing religions in the UK and US. Have the pagan gods of nature given us a new haven for spirituality? Or is it a superficial entertainment for lost westerners? The Panel Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics Eileen Barker, philosopher at the University of London Stephen Law, science journalist, author, and broadcaster Angela Saini, and writer, broadcaster and co-founder of the College for Enlightened Agriculture, Colin Tudge debate the pagan resurgence.
Online
2017; 2015