Public Philosophy 2018 Lecture Series

Crisis of Modern Self and Society

A Monthly Public Lecture Series in Seven Parts

When? 6:00–8:30pm, the last Monday of each month. 

Where? The Moon Café, Northbridge

Are we biological machines? Are we driven by self-interest only? Are we forever trapped in our own minds? Or, are there different ways to understand who we are?

People in Western societies are becoming increasingly lonely and isolated at the same time as technological innovation is supposedly connecting us more than ever. Both our work lives and social lives are characterised not by community and cooperation, but by individual success through competition. Whilst we can shout our opinions at strangers on the internet to accumulate more ‘likes’, public spaces for meaningful dialogue are continuously being dismantled. Today’s world may be marked by crisis, yet this does not necessarily mean a time of despair: the word ‘crisis’ originally meant ‘decision’. Through dialogue, we may better comprehend the present crises we face as well as be able to make better decisions about our future.

In this series of public lectures, the speakers will question the modern concepts of the ‘self’ and ‘society’ as well as show how these concepts underpin many contemporary social, cultural and political problems.

These lectures will look to the past in order to better understand the present as well as see different ways to understand what it means to be human.

Each lecture will last roughly 45 minutes and will be followed by questions and conversation.

We invite you to join us for a night of ideas, discussion and drinks
as we ask what it means to be human in the modern world.

Free to attend.
No knowledge of philosophy is required.
All refreshments and food are available for purchase from The Moon Café.

Lecture Dates & Topics:

Part 1, 26 March: “Can Plato Teach Us Something New in Our Digital Age?”

Part 2, 30 April:  “What Is the Difference between Philosophical and Scientific Questioning?”

Part 3, 28 May: “Psychological Know-How: Self-Help?”

Part 4, 25 June: “Deep Down, Aren’t We All Selfish?”

Part 5, 30 July: “Can We Create Ourselves Like Works-of-Art?”

Part 6, 27 August: “What on Earth is the World?”

Part 7, 8 October: “Social Engineering”