This course offers an introduction to philosophy and philosophical thinking. Topics will include What is Philosophy? Thought experiments in Philosophy. What is reality? What am I? How should I live? No prior knowledge of Philosophy is assumed.
Disturbed by the dehumanisation of those fleeing for their lives as a daily media and political event, Jim Walsh will advocate a new understanding of personal ethics that aims to bring migrants in from the cold of being abstract entities and give them warmth such as every human deserves. By focusing upon some of the ideas contained with Hans-Georg Gadamer’s magnum opus, Truth and Method, Jim will illustrate, with reference to A Scandal in Bohemia and the works of Rene Magritte, how we can start to re-evaluate ourselves when we regard other people.
The Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952) has been an undeservedly neglected figure in British academia for many decades. This neglect is in marked contrast to the considerable attention he received in the first half of the 20th century. Santayana’s range as a philosopher is wide, covering ontology, epistemology, ethics, the arts and sciences, religion, political and social issues. Also, his language possesses classic clarity. So, a revival of interest in him is long overdue – as is, indeed, a talk on him to the Conway Hall Ethical Society.
As the title suggests, this talk is concerned with the living body experience in connection with the philosophical problem of Mind and Body within the existential and phenomenological framework. The focus will be on three different perspectives: how I perceive my body, my relationship to the body of the other and the perception of thedead body of the other which is relevant to discuss here as it provides a contrast to the living body experience.
Sartre proclaimed how free we are – able to choose what to do, be and feel. But this freedom is not a liberation but a life-sentence – with hard labour. If we are to follow Sartre’s exacting strictures on avoiding bad faith, then we will always be scrupulously monitoring ourselves for authenticity, and it will be virtually impossible to be sincere – about our emotions, our sexuality, our love.
When Tony Blair committed the British government to join the war in Iraq, the huge demonstrations against were unsuccessful. Has society learnt anything from this and, in particular, does anarchism have a role to play?
The ideal of anarchism is the abolition of all government and the organisation of society on a voluntary, cooperative basis without recourse to force or compulsion. Indeed, this is the ideal of socialism in general. Authoritarian and anarchistic socialism are associated with the names of Marx and Bakunin.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Conway Hall Ethical Society was connected to both the great and the good of the age. Many came to address the Society at their Sunday and mid week lectures including Bertrand Russell, William Morris, Sidney Webb and the suffragettes Marion Phillips and Marion Holmes.