Can you get to Oxford for a weekend?
If so then do come to OUDCE for one of our weekend schools. These are held at Rewley House, start at 3pm on Saturday, and end after lunch at 2pm on Sunday. I chair them. The format is (nearly) always the same: two professional philosophers each give two lectures (including questions), then there is a question and answer session with me and the other two philosophers on the panel.
Our weekends are extremely lively. There can be anything from 30 to 120 participants. Some of these participants will be members of the OUDCE Philosophical Society (who get a discount on weekend schools) and who are very familiar with some aspects of philosophy. Others will be complete beginners. The speakers must try to negotiate their way through their talks keeping each type of participant happy. It is amazing how well they do it.
The weekends are also social. There is plenty of time during the tea and coffee breaks, and at dinner on Saturday night and lunch on Sunday, to meet, get to know and learn to argue with other participants.
Here are the weekend schools (and one lecture series) for the academic year 2017/18. If you’d like to go to one now is the time to book:
We shall consider the history of Free Speech before examining some of its difficulties, including those of framing legal boundaries to free speech. Should abuse of religion, class, or race be legally outlawed, for example, if intended to cause offence, or likely to do so?
Wagner is considered one of the most philosophical of the great artists in the European tradition. His work was particularly open to philosophical influences and it has stimulated significant philosophical responses. We will look at two different takes on philosophical approaches to Wagner.
Aristotle called humans ‘the only rational animal’. But what is it to be rational? Surely animals, birds and plants might be rational in a different way? Maybe there are degrees of rationality? A philosopher and a zoologist will address these questions and more.
Asked which principles we’d like to govern society, in the West we’d often refer to equality. But what is equality? And what resources do we want to distribute equally – material goods, or well-being and happiness? Or is it equality of opportunity we want?
Kant’s transcendental idealism suggests that our experience of the world and the world itself have a structure that we impose. But Kant denied this structure is a feature of things in themselves and argued instead that there are two aspects to reason.
Realism and Emergence in the Philosophy of Science (James Ladyman and Naomi Thompson) 10/11 March 2018
What is the relationship between metaphysics and science? Are both components of a complete understanding of the world? Do we need metaphysics at all? We will also look at the notions of ‘dependence’ and ‘emergence’.
Is the mind inside the head? It seems obvious that it is. In recent years many philosophers have rejected this obvious thought and embraced externalism in the philosophy of mind. In doing this they claim that mental states are not in the head.
Is morality nature or nurture? The correct answer is probably ‘both’. But are we capable of active, original moral learning that can carry us beyond the moral world we inherit, and explain how morality can be a domain of independent thinking?