Archive for May, 2013

This Friday will be the final Philosophical Society meeting of the (academic) year. We will mark the event by a slightly different format, successfully piloted last year: using downloaded TED talks as a stimulus for thought and discussion.

Under the umbrella topic of the future of mankind:

  • Nick Bostrom (director of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute) looks at the future of humankind, and asks whether we might alter the fundamental nature of humanity to solve our most intrinsic problems.
  • Harvey Fineberg (president of the American Institute of Medicine) suggests there are three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally — or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?
  • Paul Root Wolpe (chief bioethicist at NASA) describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, from glowing dogs to mice that grow human ears. He asks if it’s time to set some ground rules, and examines the ethical implications of new science — genetic modification, neuroscience and other breakthroughs that stretch our current philosophy to the breaking point.

TED is an American non-profit organisation devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’, which started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, & Design.


Do join us for what should be a  very interesting evening.


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This Friday, on 3rd May 2013 from 7.40pm at the Friends Meeting House, Paul Archer will be speaking on ‘What is Unemployment?’.

 Unemployment is 7.9% in the United Kingdom, 12.1% in the Eurozone and more than 25% in South Africa.  This matters.  

The idea of this talk is to get a big picture of the academic debate and see how the different arguments about the nature and causes of unemployment fit together.  Does it make sense to think about the ‘strivers and shirkers’ and what, if anything, can be done?


I hope to see you there.

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