Day and Weekend Schools at OUDCE

Can you get to Oxford for a weekend?

Rewley House OUDCE Headquarters

Rewley House OUDCE Headquarters

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.

Wellington Square (Location of Rewley House)

Wellington Square (Location of Rewley House)

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:

Free speech (Professor Sir Richard Sorabji)16th September 2017

Richard Sorabji

Professor Sir Richard Sorabji


This was an excellent day school, to a full house. Professor Sir Richard Sorabji gave three lectures, starting with an international history of free speech, and ending with a look at the difficulties of framing laws to regulate freedom of speech.Unfortunately the weekend wasn’t podcast. But it was recorded by the OUDCE Philosophical Society and if you became a member you could listen to the recordings.


Wagner and Philosophy (John Deathridge and Meade McCloughan)21/22 October 2017


This was also an excellent day school.John Deathridge and Meade were both wonderful – so nice to see a grand piano on stage! Unfortunately the weekend wasn’t podcast. But it was recorded by the OUDCE Philosophical Society and if you became a member you could listen to the recordings.


Alex Kacelnik and friends

The Rationality of Animals  (Marianne Talbot and Alex Kacelnik25/26 November 2017

This was a fantastic weekend (though I say so myself!) Alex and I enjoyed it enormously and so did the participants. If you would like to listen to my lectures you’ll find them here:

Rationality from a philosopher’s perspective

Fitness, Utility and Morality


Alice Baderin

Equality, Opportunity and Difference (Jo Wolff and Alice Baderin13/14th January 2018

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? This was a wonderful weekend school: a really good discussion. Here are the podcasts for lecture two (Alice Baderin) and Lecture three (Jo Wolff). If you’d like to hear the other lectures you might consider joining the OUDCE Philosophical Society.

Kantian Metaphysics (Anil Gomes and Adrian Moore17/18th February 2018


Adrian Moore

This was a wonderful weekend. One of our best yet. Both Adrian and Anil were excellent speakers. In the audience we had people with PhDs in philosophy to people for whom these lectures were the first philosophy lectures they had ever taken. But everyone greatly enjoyed it and learned a great deal about the motivation for, and the nature of,  Kant’s transcendental idealism. As usual the lectures were recorded by the Philosophical Society, and if you’d like to hear them you only have to join, and then check out the archive.


Naomi Thompson

Realism and Emergence in the Philosophy of Science (James Ladyman and Naomi Thompson10/11 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’.


mind-767584_960_720Where is the Mind? (Marianne Talbot7/8 April 2018

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.


Peter Railton

Beyond the Nature/Nurture Controversy (Peter Railton and Ellen Fridland19/20 May 2018 

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?