Twitter: @SotonPhilosophy (followed by 115 philosophers)
2011 to 2016
Average episode: 31 minutes
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Categories: Talk/Seminar Series
Podcaster's summary: Philosophy at Southampton has an interdisciplinary approach informed by a broad range of research interests that includes: aesthetics, language and epistemology, ethics and philosophy of mind. This series introduces the Philosophy Café series of informal talks and enquiry on themes of choice and reason connected with the human situation. Thinking about studying philosophy? Watch our student experience video for insight into the diversity of the subject area and the learning culture at Humanities.
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|2016-Mar-07 • 36 minutes|
Tolstoy’s Contagion Theory of Art
Just as the food we ought to consume is not necessarily the tastiest, so the art we ought to value is not necessarily that which pleases most. So what kind of art truly nourishes the soul? This talk will explore Tolstoy’s answer –that it is the kind of art in which the audience contracts the feelings of the artist like a contagion, thereby forming moral bonds between individuals and within communities.
|2015-Dec-18 • 36 minutes|
Philosophy Café: 'The Problem of the Criterion: Is Knowledge too Hard or too Easy? Dr Conor McHugh
'The Problem of the Criterion: Is Knowledge too Hard or too Easy?' We acquire knowledge through methods such as perception and reasoning and, according to an intuitively plausible principle, acquiring knowledge through such a method requires us first to know that this method is reliable. But it has long been recognized that this seems to give rise to a vicious regress, making knowledge impossible. Rejecting the principle, on the other hand, seems to make knowledge too easy: we could come to know that a meth...
|2015-Nov-18 • 34 minutes|
Philosophy café: On Tragedy - Chris Janaway.
Dramas and other fictions that portray tragic events are often thought to be the most important and valuable artistic works. But ever since the age of Plato and Aristotle, when tragedy was invented, philosophers have wondered why, and even whether, they are a good thing. Do we enjoy the merciless representation of lives being wrecked? If so, how do we explain that? Do we enjoy it in spite of, or because of, the painfulness of the events? And if we do not enjoy it, what is the point of tragedy?
|2015-Nov-18 • 28 minutes|
Philosophy café: Mistakes about Motherhood- Fiona Woolard
Motherhood is revered as a state of almost saintly self-sacrifice. According to the popular picture, a mother is willing to do anything for her child and always puts her child first and her own needs last. But real mothers often fail to live up to this ideal and are harshly criticised for this. So might the way we talk about motherhood involve philosophical mistakes? And are these mistakes harmful to mothers?
|2015-Jun-12 • 35 minutes|
Philosophy Café - 'Why Be Rational?'
Our highly successful Philosophy Café (run in conjunction with the John Hansard Gallery) is now entering its fifth year: the Café offers regular, informal lunchtime discussions that are free and accessible.
Philosophy Café. Lee Walters - Is Time Travel Possible?
These regular, informal lunchtime discussions are held between 1-2pm and open to all (no booking required). They aim to bring together those with an interest in philosophy - from both within the University and the wider local community.
|2015-Mar-18 • 24 minutes|
Philosophy Café. Jonathan Way - Ethics Without Principles?
Our highly successful Philosophy Café (run in conjunction with the John Hansard Gallery) is now entering its fifth year: the Café offers regular, informal lunchtime discussions that are free and accessible. These regular, informal lunchtime discussions are held between 1-2pm and open to all (no booking required). They aim to bring together those with an interest in philosophy - from both within the University and the wider local community.
|2015-Mar-18 • 40 minutes|
Genia Schoenbaumsfeld - Philosophy and the Unconscious
Philosophy talk given at Southampton City Art Gallery
|2014-Nov-25 • 37 minutes|
Philosophy Cafe podcast: Are people always selfish?
The latest in the popular Philosophy cafe series at the John Hansard Gallery saw Dr Alex Gregory talking about self interest. Alex researches the relationship between what we want and what we think is good, and has published on these issues. "It's clear that people sometimes do things for their own benefit: you might push ahead of other people to ensure you get a good seat on the train. Some philosophers have made the bolder claim that we always act out of self-interest. But is that true? What are the ar...
|2013-Jun-03 • 37 minutes|
Philosophy Café – What is the ‘Mind/Body Problem’? by Dr Genia Schonbaumsfeld
The philosopher Descartes famously held that the mind is an immaterial, thinking substance entirely distinct from the body. If he is right, it is hard to see how mind and body could ever interact - for how can something immaterial causally affect something physical? Most contemporary philosophers would reject this Cartesian dualism but the problem of what the mind is, and how it relates to the body, or brain, remains pressing today. Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Dr Genia Schonbaumsfeld, discussed th...
|2013-Mar-12 • 26 minutes|
Philosophy Café – How much must we give to famine relief?
Every day many people die from lack of food. It is in our power to prevent a large number of these deaths. Philosophers such as Peter Singer and Peter Unger have argued that, given these facts, a typical member of an affluent country is morally required to give away most of their assets to famine relief. But does morality really demand that we sacrifice so much to save the lives of strangers? Philosophy Cafe talks are scheduled each month and cover a wide range of topics, for more information on future P...
|2013-Feb-15 • 35 minutes|
Philosophy Café – New ways of looking at mathematics by Prof Ray Monk.
Ray Monk, Professor of Philosophy, has spoken about mathematical truth at the University of Southampton’s popular Philosophy Cafe at the John Hansard Gallery on campus. From the time of Plato onwards, philosophers have regarded mathematical truth as an ideal. Unlike ordinary, empirical truth, it is held, mathematical truth is eternal, incorrigible and certain. This talk looked at the ways in which philosophers have tried to account for the special nature of mathematical truth, concentrating on Bertrand R...
|2012-Dec-11 • 29 minutes|
Philosophy Café – Is it rational to be moral? By Dr Jonathan Way.
The University of Southampton’s popular Philosophy Cafe series has considered the differences between rationality and morality. Dr Jonathan Way has argued that we ordinarily assume that it is rational to be moral - that we are not foolish for doing what's right. However, on reflection it can be hard to see why this is so. After all, it certainly seems as if there can be occasions on which immorality pays. Nor is it obvious that immorality must involve any kind of inconsistency or confusion. His talk e...
Philosophy Café – What’s so good about free thinking? By Dr Sasha Mudd.
The notion of ‘free thought' is fundamental to many of our deeply cherished liberal ideals. Universities, books, and people are often celebrated (or feared) for their power to encourage it, and many liberal institutions exist to protect it. However, it is surprisingly difficult to say what free thought is, and why it's worth having. Lecturer Dr Sasha Mudd explored the meaning and significance of ‘free thought' in a popular Philosophy Cafe session at the John Hansard Gallery on campus. She drew on insig...
|2012-Oct-30 • 30 minutes|
Philosophy Café – What am I? by Dr Conor McHugh
Lecturer Dr Conor McHugh challenged the audience at the University of Southampton Philosophy Cafe to consider what makes a person. He asked them to ponder what would happen if scientists swapped individual’s brains from one person to another: “Which, if either, of the resulting people is you? What if the scientists erase all of my memories and scan them into your brain? In that case, it will seem to you that it was you who, for example, wrote these words. Is this impression illusory?” Conor’s lively sess...
|2012-May-25 • 31 minutes|
Philosophy Café – Free will: a necessary illusion?
Subjectively we view ourselves as in control of most of our actions, and we think that other people are largely responsible for theirs. But objectively, we can see that what we do is caused by many events and circumstances stretching back into the past, which has suggested to some people that free will is an illusion. Which view should win out? Or is there no real conflict between them? Professor Chris Janaway discussed these issues at the latest session of the Philosophy Cafe.
|2012-Mar-14 • 35 minutes|
Philosophy Café – Authenticity: what is it to be oneself?
The anxiety that we are, in some way, not being ourselves can seem both puzzling and all too familiar. This worry is also an anxiety that has been explored by many of the great philosophers and became in the twentieth century a central theme in existentialism, as the worry that our lives are 'inauthentic'. But what is authenticity? What is to be oneself? And if one isn't oneself, what can one do about it? Dr Denis McManus has addressed these issues at the University of Southampton's Philosophy cafe.
|2012-Mar-13 • 24 minutes|
Philosophy Cafe - External World Scepticism, or What If You're In The Matrix? by Dr Conor McHugh
In the film 'The Matrix', the main character discovers that his life is an illusion - all of his experiences have come from a perfect computer simulation fed into his brain. This is a modern version of thought-experiments employed by philosophers for hundreds of years. Dr Conor McHugh discussed whether the seeming fact that we can't tell that we're not in the Matrix shows that we don't know anything about the world around us in this session of the Philosophy cafe? He also posed the question - if you 'are' i...
|2011-Dec-13 • 39 minutes|
Philosophy Café – Conceptual art – a contradiction in terms?
Can conceptual art be truly described as 'art'? Professor Aaron Ridley considers the issues raised by the twentieth century's most important philosopher of art, R.G. Collingwood. He discusses whether an unmade bed, or a woolly teapot, 'really' count as art in this session of the University's Philosophy Cafe. Click here to listen to the podcast
|2011-Nov-28 • 25 minutes|
Philosophy Café podcast - Is morality objective?
Dr Jonathan Way discusses; what is the nature of morality? Is it merely subjective or relative, subject to change according to the customary behaviour of a society? You can listen to a podcast of the talk in the right hand section of this page.
|2011-Oct-18 • 35 minutes|
Relevance of biography to philosophical study
Professor Ray Monk discussed the relevance of biography to philosophical study with reference to Wittgenstein in the latest Philosophy Cafe at the John Hansard Gallery at the University of Southampton. Wittgenstein the philosopher has had a huge influence within philosophy and other academic disciplines. Outside academic life, Wittgenstein the man has inspired artists, poets, film-makers, novelists and dramatists to attempt to capture the fascination of his uniquely intense and austere personality. Ray,...
|2011-Oct-17 • 28 minutes|
Philosophy Café: Reasons to be Cheerful, Chris Janaway
Staff, students and members of the public heard Professor Chris Janaway deliver another successful Philosophy Cafe talk as part of the Humanities Lifelong Learning programme. He discussed the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and his views on the suffering and futility of human life and the influence of love, art, morality and religion. This popular series will continue through the 2011-12 academic year with sessions at the John Hansard Gallery on the University campus and the City Art Gallery, Sou...
|2011-Jun-24 • 2 minutes|
Thinking of studying MA Philosophy?
Student Kelsey Miller talks about her experience of studying on the Postgraduate taught Philosophy programme at Southampton.
|2011-Jun-16 • 31 minutes|
Philosophy of Sex. Does monogamy make sense?
Dr Fiona Wollard asks whether monogamy makes sense; in a talk held as part of the John Hansard Gallery, Philosophy Café series.
|2011-Jun-16 • 28 minutes|
Philosophy of Religion. Is religious faith irrational?
Dr Genia Schonbaumsfeld discusses religious faith, and what it means to argue for and against the existence of God; of an experience of faith beyond the evidence of natural science, in a talk held as part of the John Hansard Gallery, Philosophy Café series.