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OUDCE Philosophy Weekends at Rewley House

Future Events Programme

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


2019
April 06-07: The Status of the Mind-Body problem in 2019
Marianne Talbot (Tawney Room)
The Mind-Body problem is the problem of how our minds are related to our bodies (and in particular our brains). There was a time when it seemed obvious that our minds could exist without our brains (surely after the death of the body the mind lives on?). Then there was a time when it seemed obvious that mental states are states of the brain. It is today often assumed by the person in the street and indeed the neurologist in the university that the mind is the brain. But philosophers are not so sure. Indeed most philosophers these days would deny that the mind is the brain. But who are philosophers to pronounce on this? Come and find out.
May 18-19: Continental and Analytic Philosophy
Yvonne Sherratt, Bristol University and Mike Beaney Kings College (Sadler Room)
In the western world philosophy tends to divide into two 'schools' – the analytic school and the continental school. Although some people successfully straddle the two schools, most philosophers tend to work in either one or the other. During this weekend we will compare and contrast these two schools. We will look at the history and development of each school, and problems that each of them face.
October 07 - November 11, 14:00 - 15:30: Reason and Emotion (unaccredited lecture series)
Julia Wecken (Lecture Theatre)
Emotions bear complex relationships to rationality. On one hand they are seen as arational or irrational, on the other they make our actions intelligible and arguably lift us above the purely mechanistic behaviours of machines. Much like human sensory perception, emotions perform an essential function: they inform us about the world. That said, Plato’s Euthyphro dilemma can be applied to emotions: we can pose the question why is something feared or loved? Is it because it is fear- or love-inspiring in itself? This is the objectivist’s outlook on emotion. In contrast, a subjectivist stance would be that something is fear- or love-inspiring because we fear or love it. In this case, the objects and qualities we find in the world are mere projections of our own attitudes. This course is an exploration into the possibility, extent and nature of the objectivity of emotions, and their contribution to rationality. We shall cast a light on historical perspectives on reason and emotion and compare these with more recent philosophical findings in this vibrant area of contemporary research.
October 19-20: God, Meaning and Objectivity
John Cottingham and Lloyd Strickland (Lecture Theatre)
Details TBA
November 23-24: Philosophy for Beginners
Marianne Talbot (Lecture Theatre)
The first philosophers, working before the 5th century BC, looked for natural rather than supernatural explanations. Eschewing appeal to God they asked questions such as ‘what is existence?’, ‘what is truth?’, ‘what is justice?, ‘how should we live our lives’? Modern day philosophers still ask such questions, although the modern debate would seem very strange to one of the ancient philosophers. Philosophers conduct experiments, but these are thought experiments, constrained not by the laws of nature but the laws of logic. During these lectures we shall be looking at the history of philosophy, at the methodology used by modern day philosophers and at why philosophy is still needed in the context of the success of science. No prior experience of philosophy will be assumed.

2020
January 11-12: Existentialism
Jonathan Webber and Kate KirkPatrick (Lecture Theatre)
According to Sartre that ‘existence precedes essence’ is the first principle’ of Existentialism. There is no ‘human nature’ determined by God or nature, there is no objective set of rules that we must follow to decide what to do. Instead we become what we are by our own choices. In his new book Rethinking Existentialism, Jonathan Webber offers an interpretation of existentialism as the ethical theory that human freedom is the foundation of all other values.
February 15-16: The Golden Age of Buddhism
Jan Westerhoff and Nilanjan Das (Tawney Room)
Details TBA
March 07-08: Philosophy of Maths
Alex Paseau and Florian Steinberger (Tawney Room)
Details TBA
April 04-05: Human Nature: Does Evolutionary Explanation Have Limits
Anthony O’Hear and Friedel Weinert (Tawney Room)
Details TBA
May 16-17: Meaning in Life
Susan Wolf and Brad Hooker (Sadler Room)
Details TBA