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 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 2016/17. If you’d like to go to one now is the time to book:

Marianne Mid-Lecture

Marianne Mid-Lecture

Induction: Reasoning or Prejudice (Marianne Talbot)
Series of 6 Lectures (Mondays 2-3.30pm starts October 10th)

Inductive reasoning is a form of reasoning. So the textbooks say. But there are big problems with it. Hume told us we have no reason to use induction. Popper denied that induction is reasoning. But science needs induction. Or does it? Come and find out!

Alfred Mele Department of Philosophy. Free Will.

Alfred Mele

Has Science Shown Freewill is an Illusion? (Alfred Mele, Helen Beebee and Nura Sidarus) 22/23 October 2016

Can you choose to come to this weekend school? Neuroscience suggests our brains ‘decide’ how to act before we are conscious of choosing. If so we must reject free will. Come and hear two philosophers (Al and Helen) and a neuroscientist (Nura) discuss these difficult questions.


Tim Williamson

Truth And Relativism (Tim Williamson and Maria Baghramian) 26/7th November 2016

Some people argue that truth — even in science — is always relative to a perspective. Moral relativism insists that moral truth is relative to a moral framework. What is the truth about relativism? Is it self-defeating? Is it needed to resist dogmatism?


Matthew Kieran

The Philosophy of Creativity (Matthew Kieran and Michael Beaney) 14/15 January 2017

What IS creativity? What role does character play in it? Are curiosity, resilience and risk-taking concomitant with creativity? Why? Are creative people vain, dismissive and stubborn? Must they be? What is the role of creativity
in logic and mathematics?


Tariq Ramadan

Introduction to Islamic Ethics (Tariq Ramadan and Sharif Hasan Al-Banna) 18/19 February 2017

What grounds Islamic ethics? Is it relevant to today’s ethical issues? During this weekend we will discuss the theoretical commitments of Islamic ethics and applications of those commitments in practice. To prepare browse

C Fabre Photo

Cecile Fabre


Are Economic Sanctions Morally Acceptable? (Cécile Fabre and Elizabeth Ellis) 11/12 March 2017

 Those imposing economic sanctions want to change behaviour. But UNICEF estimates that in Iraq during the 90s they led to the deaths of 500,000 children. Can sanctions be targeted more effectively? Or should they be banned?


Ira Kiourti

Ira Kiourti

Thinking about the Impossible (Mark Jago and Ira Kiourti) 8/9 April 2017

Mathematicians tried to square the circle for centuries before realising that it is impossible. Time travel stories abound, even though it might be impossible. How can we understand the content of thoughts about impossible things?


Susan James (and Spinoza!)

The Philosophy of Spinoza (Susan James and Beth Lord) 13/14 May 2017

Benedict de Spinoza (1632—1677) developed a fully deterministic and original system of the universe. From it he generated an ethics in which humans find happiness through their rational understanding of their place in the system of which they are part.