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Rewley House Weekend Events

Future Events Programme

Phlsoc members are entitled to a 10% discount on weekend courses listed below
(not applicable to the unacredited lecture series).


2018
January 13-14: Equality, Opportunity and Difference
Jo Wollf and Emily McTernan (Lecture Theatre)
If we were asked which principles we’d like to see govern our society, many if not most people in the West would refer to equality. Yet our society is currently more unequal that ever (on one measurement of equality). Few would advocate strict equality, according to which resources would be divided equally amongst everyone. Such a distribution seems guaranteed to ensure inequality. But if this is not what we mean, what do we mean? And what resources do we want to distribute equally – material goods, or goods such as well-being or happiness? Or is it that we want to ensure equality of opportunity, so that equality of outcome is not something that we aim for? During this weekend we will look at these difficult questions, and others.
February 17-18: Kantian Metaphysics
Anil Gomes and Adrian Moore (Tawney Room)
Kant’s transcendental idealism consisted in his claim that both our experience of the empirical world and the empirical world itself have a structure that we ourselves impose (where this structure includes space, time, and causation). But he also denied that this structure is a feature of things as they are in themselves, quite independent of our experience of them. By combining these two theses Kant rejected both the ‘tabula rasa’ (blank slate) favoured by the empiricists, and the a priori knowledge of the world favoured by the rationalists. Kant also held that there are two aspects to reason, and this has important consequences for freedom. Practical reason (particularly morality) presupposes freewill, but theoretical reason cannot demonstrate that we are free. During this weekend we will discuss the thought of this hugely important philosopher.
March 10-11: Realism and Emergence in the Philosophy of Science
James Ladyman and Naomi Thompson (Tawney Room)
During this weekend school we will consider metaphysics and its relation to science. We will be considering whether we need metaphysics at all, and if so why. One view is that the two types of enquiry are needed to guide and constrain each other – the two are components of a complete understanding of the world. We will also look at the notions of ‘dependence’ and ‘emergence’. One area of philosophy where such notions might do important work is in accounting for the relationship between the mental and the physical. We will consider different accounts of metaphysical dependence and emergence, and how they might be used to clarify the debate.
April 07-08: Where is the Mind?
Marianne Talbot (Tawney Room)
There are all sorts of reasons for thinking that the mind is in the head. It is not, after all, events in the environment that make you do what you do, it is your beliefs about such events. Beliefs, surely, are in your head? If you think the mind is the brain, of course, you will certainly think that the mind is in the head. But in recent years many philosophers have turned their back on this obvious thought and embraced externalism in the philosophy of mind. In doing this they claim that mental states are not in the head. During this weekend we shall be considering the arguments for (and against) this claim, and the ramifications for its truth.
May 19-20: Beyond the Nature/Nurture Controversy: Moral Autonomy and Social Change
Ellen Fridland and Peter Railton (Sadler Room)
It is often asked of morality, "Is it nature or nurture?" Virtually everyone today agrees that the correct answer is "Both". But that answer opens new questions, not simply questions about the relative contribution of "nature" or "nurture" (or whether these can even be meaningfully separated), but also about whether there is something more to moral development that this debate usually presupposes. 'Nature' and 'nurture' as these terms are traditionally used cast the individual in a passive role in moral development – either by genetic inheritance or by inculcation of the norms of his society by socialization. We'd like to emphasize how that humans are equipped not just to receive such shaping forces, but also for active, original moral learning that can carry us beyond the moral world we inherit, and help explain how morality can be a domain of independent thinking, and vibrant innovation and change.
October 08 - November 12, 14:00 - 15:30: TBA (unaccredited lecture series)

Details TBA
October 20 - 21: TBA

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November 24-25: TBA

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2019
January 12-13: TBA

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February 16-17: TBA

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March 09-10: TBA

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April 06-07: TBA

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May 18-19: TBA

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