Search This Blog


Next Royal Institue of Philosophy Lecture at Barnes Philosophy Club, 'Are we morally responsible for our implicit biases?' by Prof Helen Beebee

Image result for Prof Helen Beebee        Professor Helen Beebee

There’s a lot of evidence from social psychology that we all harbour ‘implicit biases’: attitudes towards people based on their race, gender, weight, disability, etc. that we are often not aware of, or even that we actively and sincerely claim not to hold. These can have damaging effects, e.g. if a hiring panel judges a woman to be less suitable for a job than a man, or if a police officer judges a black youth to be more likely to be carrying drugs than a white youth. But if we acquire these attitudes unwittingly and are not aware of them, then it seems that the behaviour that they give rise to is not really within our control — so are we really to blame for such behaviour? I’ll argue that we are — at least some of the time.
Prof Helen Beebee


Barnes Philosophy Club - next Royal Institute of Philosophy talk 'Culture and mind in Ethics and Moral Philosophy' by Dr Yasemin J. Erden

Dr Yasemin J Erden 
'CULTURE MIND in ETHICS and MORAL PHILOSOPHY' This was a good start to our new season in what for us is a new venue and venture:  Yasemin was fun, clear and informative - more please

Add caption


Next Royal Institute of Philosophy Talk: ' The Religious Roots of Utopian Thinking' by John Madeley

Speaker: John Madeley and some of the club members

Bertie off to Madrid

Dr Barbie Underwood: chair
This is what philosoohy does to you
 a little blurry !

Picture: Phillip Medhurst

This talk draws a ‘history of ideas’ connection between two of the Philosophy Club’s recent major themes: the philosophy of religion and utopian thinking and beliefs.  It addresses the claim made by philosopher and controversial essayist John Gray (eg. in Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia(2007)) of a direct historical connection between religious dissidence on the one hand and utopian beliefs and thinking on the other – from Zoroastrianism and early Christianity through the Anabaptist ‘revolution’ in Muenster twenty years after Thomas More penned Utopia (1516) and on to present times.  While Gray is a non-believer he is an open admirer of the wisdom he sees as nurtured and maintained by most mainstream religious traditions.  On the other hand, he excoriates utopian thinking (in particular the Enlightenment belief in the possibility of humanity’s moral progress) and what he takes to be the disastrous political projects inspired by it in modern times (from the 1789 French Revolution, via socialist, communist and anarchist experiments to American Neo-Con attempts to create a New World Order).  Many questions arise: what is the significance of the long, trailing roots utopianism has in religious dissidence including, in particular, radical sectarian sets of ideas; how is it that these ideas have been domesticated and rendered relatively harmless in adventist sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, while they still remain politically relevant among some Evangelical Protestants, especially in the USA; and does this even tell us something useful about David Khoresh’s Waco and ISIS in Raqqa and beyond?

Next Royal Institute of Philosophy talk , 'Que sais-je? (What Do I know?) on Tuesday 14 May 2019, Coach & Horses, Barnes High Street 7.30 - 9 pm

Paul Fletcher: Speaker
Dr Barbie Underwood: Chair      
Abstract :  How did Montaigne know what he did, who inspired him, and can we learn from his methods of inquiry? Montaigne, like only a select few philosophers, makes us not only think but seems to touch us extraordinarily; we feel almost as if he is speaking to us personally. ‘Que sais-je? –What do I know?-  is a question we often ask ourselves in times of doubt. How could a 16th-century philosopher help us through these modern times? In this talk, I shall be drawing on the essays of Montaigne so we may be able to seek solace by allowing him into our lives. In troubling times could Montaigne help calm our social, political and cultural trials and tribulations? Can an SOS call to Michel De Montaigne help our plight?