Philosophy

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The Significance of the Frankfurt School and Critical Theory

 

Harry Cowen, University of Gloucestershire

1 April 2003

 

SPINOZA

Dr. William Mander, Oxford University, on 4 February 2003

AYN RAND AND THE CONCEPT OF AUTHENTICITY

Denis Poole, Member, on 7 January 2003

PHYSICS AND METAPHYSICS

Geoffrey Catchpole, Member, on 1 October, 2002.

I will begin with definitions, explore the relevant history, review implications and draw some conclusions.

Definitions (Concise Oxford Dictionary and Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Physics -The science dealing with the properties and interactions of matter and energy (from the Greek `phusika'- natural things- and from `phusis' - nature ).(COD)

Think? A Critical Look At Popular Philosphy

John Bulman, Member, on 2 July 2002

Is philosophy relevant to the concerns of the man or woman in the street? Does it answer the great questions posed by the strangeness of human existence, like: is my will free?, how do my mind and body interact?, and (as Kant put them) what can I know?, what shall I do?, and what can I hope?. Further, can any conclusions reached by philosophy be communicated in any way intelligible to the non-philosopher?

ENVIRONMENTAL AESTHETICS

Graham Burgess, Member, on 4 June 2002

The Natural Basis of Morality

Dr Donald Cameron, on 7 May 2002

Summary

THE ONE DIMENSIONAL MAN OF HERBERT MARCUSE

Richard Pierce, Member, on 2 April 2002

On page 129 of One Dimensiional Man Herbert Marcuse states "Philosophy envisages the EQUALITY of man but, at the same time, it submits to the factual denial of equality". This lecture will be pitched at a general and then at a more specialised examination of Marcuse, dealing mainly with the One Dimensiional Man, first published in 1964, and touching on Eros and Civilisation.

The Productive Failure of Foucault's History of Sexuality

Dr Stuart Elden, University of Warwick, 5 March 2002

MYTH - THE FINAL PHASE OF PLATONIC EDUCATION

Tim Addey, Chairman, Prometheus Trust and Editor of `Thomas Taylor Series', on 5 February 2002

BERNARD BOSANQUET'S MORPHOLOGY OF KNOWLEDGE

Anthony Waterhouse, Member, on 8 January 2002

Bernard Bosanquet (1848-1923) was in Britain, second to F. H. Bradley, the most important exponent of a wholist philosophy often called Absolute Idealism. An Absolute idealist thinks that what we know is at least in part mind-dependant, and that what we may think are separate things - appearance - masks the reality, that what seem separate and contradictory aspects of experience are ultimately resolved into a coherent whole, the Absolute.

A.N. WHITEHEAD'S PROCESS AND REALITY

Victor Suchar, Member, on 4 September 2001

Introduction

Whitehead's " Process and reality" is a highly complex work that covers a vast territory, hence the many approaches one can take to giving an account of it. The speaker does not claim that his is anything else but a mere simplification, and in his attempt to find a path through Whitehead's thought will follow the following format:

• A short biographical note, to situate Whitehead in his period

Sankara and Non-dualism in Indian philosophy

Paul Creswell, Member, on 23 January 2001

`Brahman is all- this universe and every creature. To be liberated is to live in Brahman, the undivided reality.' Brahman is one without a second, as the scriptures bear witness.'

Sankara

JOHN MACMURRAY AND THE CONCEPT OF FREEDOM

Philip Hunt, Chairman, Macmurray Society, on 6 February 2001

RELIGION, ROUTE & BRANCH

John Bulman, Member, on 3 April 2001

It is surely a function of philosophy to think as clearly as possible about the roots of religion, and the validity of religious `routes' today.

Henri Lefebvre and statism

Dr Stuart Elden, University of Warwick, on 5 June 2001

Henri Lefebvre's long life came to an end in 1991, so it is somewhat perverse that only in the 1990s have key works been translated into English, and long out-of-print books reissued in France. This session began by talking about the contemporary interest in Lefebvre's work, particularly in fields such as human geography and cultural studies. It was suggested that Lefebvre's theoretical complexity and political engagements are in danger of being neglected in these analyses.

The Moral Philosophy of Adam Smith

Roger Cloet, Member on 3 July, 2001

THE PRE-SOCRATICS

Geoffrey Catchpole, Member, on 2 October 2001.

Anatta Doctrine and Western Philosophy

Tony Rawson, Member, on 6 November 2001

The talk aimed to demonstrate, with the aid of quotations from Hindu and Buddhist texts, that Buddhist philosophy was a Nominalist reaction to Hindu Realism.

The argument between nominalists and realists was taking place around 500 BC in the north of the Indian subcontinent and has continued to the present day.

B.F. Skinner and Behaviourism Today

Hugh Thomas on 4 December 2001

In so far as people are aware of the notion of Behaviourism today, it tends to conjure up images like that of the Ludovico Technique portrayed in Stanley Kubrick's film Clockwork Orange: crude, sadistic and politically-motivated attempts to modify undesirable behaviour by drug or electric shock-based aversion therapy.

RICHARD RORTY AND THE NEW RENAISSANCE

T. Rawson, Member, on 5 December 2000

The talk sketched Rorty's early life and philosophical influences, and went on to describe his early work at Princeton as an advocate of linguistic philosophy noting his primary concern about `what, if anything, philosophy is good for'. In The Linguistic Turn, Rorty's anthology of linguistic philosophy, published in 1967, he writes that he was impressed by Rudolf Carnap's claim that Philosophy is a branch of logic and by Carnap's conviction that philosophers said what they did because they did not understand `the logical syntax of language'.

PLATO'S THEORY OF FORMS

Graham Burgess, Member, on 4 January 2000

RE-APPRAISING KUHN'S THEORY OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS

Dr Mauricio Suarez, University of Bristol, on 5 February 2000

"Examining the record of past research from the vantage of contemporary historiography, the historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them." (Kuhn's Structure, 1962, p.111)

"It is just dogma _ a dangerous dogma _ that the different frameworks are like mutually untranslatable languages." (Popper, 1970, Normal science and its dangers)

The background picture of a typical 1960s philosopher of science is shown in the frame.

Nietzsche: Aspects of Contemporary Interpretation

Dr Stuart Elden, University of Bath, on 4 July 2000

One hundred years after Nietzsche's death, this session provided a overview of the interpretation and influence of his work in the last century _ in philosophy, politics, psychology, and the arts _ before concentrating on two aspects of interpretation that are likely to continue into the 21st century: feminism and political theory.

The Political Ideas of John Stuart Mill

Dr Paul Adelman, on 7 March 2000

THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND ENVIRONMENTALISM

Graham Burgess, BA. (Philosophy), MA (Creative Writing), on 1 August 2000

I have been involved in the `environmental movement' for almost twenty years, worked on organic farms, been on demos, bicycled everywhere. I now manufacture water-pumping windmills. But I suppose my questioning of the true motives of environmentalism began during my involvement in the 1993/4 road protest against the building of a bypass near Bath.

SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY ACCORDING TO POPPER, TO LAKATOS AND TO FEYREABEND

Victor Suchar, Member, on 5 September 2000

A major problem, central to the philosophy of science and underlying much of the debate in the 20th century is how scientific theories are constructed, how they are judged and selected, and what type of knowledge they give us. There are two aspects to these questions: 1) what actually has occurred according to the historical record, 2) what is the rational status of each of these activities or of the knowledge produced.

The Theory of Evolution and Conventional Wisdom

Andy Pepperdine, Member, on, 3 October 2000

THE PHILOSOPHY OF HUMANISM

Hugh Thomas, Secretary, Humanist Group, Bristol, on 4 April 2000

THE IDEA OF THE MODERN IN ARCHITECTURE

Denis R. Poole, Member, on 2 May 2000

The term `Post-Modern' is commonly used to describe the age in which we now live. But to what does the word `Modern' refer and to what philosophy does it belong? I believe that the philosophy is strongly connected to the ideals of Reason and Progress of the 18th-century Enlightenment and this was again expressed and refocused in the early 20th century by the artists and especially by architects of the so-called `International Style'.

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