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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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1.

Science Under Siege

From many-worlds to the multiverse, does physics still need experiments? The Speaker George Ellis examines the fantasies of contemporary cosmology.
Online
2017; 2015
2.

Capitalism and Anarchy

Few take anarchism and the abandonment of organized government as a viable political goal. Yet in economics, capitalism is just such a leaderless anarchic system. Might a radically decentralized political system be more credible than we think? Or is centralized government necessary in politics if anything is to be achieved? The Panel Senior Economic Adviser at HSBC Stephen King, author of Bourgeois Dignity Deirdre McCloskey and cofounder of Novaria Media Aaron Bastani take anarchy seriously.
Online
2017; 2016
3.

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
4.

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
5.

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
6.

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
7.

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
8.

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
9.

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
10.

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
11.

Cycles of Wonder

Can Science revive spirituality? The speaker, The Science Delusion author Rupert Sheldrake, explores a new paradigm of science and religion.
Online
2017; 2015
12.

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
13.

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
14.

Life, the Universe and Everything

Philosophers have always sought grand theories to explain the world's mystery. And Stephen Hawking once predicted that science would have its own Theory of Everything by 2000. Yet we are no closer to an answer. Are we necessarily limited and reality beyond reach or is a solution just round the corner? The Panel Quantum physicist Sandu Popescu, philosopher Rufus Duits and independent filmmaker David Malone envisage an ultimate theory of everything. Gabrielle Walker hosts.
Online
2017; 2015
15.

Enlightenment's Wake

Many assume Enlightenment values will triumph over violence and prejudice. But in the wake of ISIS and Charlie Hebdo, victory seems less inevitable and the age of reason less secure. Might history not be on our side after all? Do we need more passion to combat zealotry's allure or will reason alone win in the end? The Panel Philosopher and theologian Christopher Hamilton, author of Contesting the Saudi State and visiting professor at LSE Madawi al-Rasheed, and editor of Spiked Online Brendan O'Neill push reason to the extreme.
Online
2017; 2015
16.

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
17.

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
18.

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
19.

After the News

Between tweeting presidents and government censorship are we witnessing the end of news? The speaker and award-winning journalist John Lloyd forecasts the future.
Online
2017; 2015
20.

The Dance of Time

Since we can't directly access the past or the future, the present seems to be all we've got. Yet Derrida denied the existence of the present. And physicists argue the present has no special status. Is the present an illusion? Or do we find in the present everything that is of value? The Panel Author of The End of Time Julian Barbour, Lecturer in Philosophy at Queen's University Joseph Diekemper and author of Come to the Edge Joanna Kavenna examine the present.
Online
2017; 2015