Does Philosophy Matter?

Bloomsbury Institute
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Does Philosophy Matter?

Thursday 5th May 

with Professor MM McCabe, Constantine Sandis and chaired by Liza Thompson  

'Philosophy is dead'—so resounds the triumphant sentiment of contemporary scientists and academics the world over. As Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow have proclaimed: 'scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our search for knowledge'. The reign of science dominates the world’s globalizing economies, and tacitly informs our daily lives to a greater extent than ever before in world history.

So, are they right? Is philosophy over? Was it really of any real use in the first place? These are a few of the questions being raised in this lively exchange. Professor MM McCabe (Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy, Kings College London) will be arguing ‘for’ philosophy exploring how it has been at least as significant as that of science, but also that philosophy continues to be important in ways that cannot be quantified. Constantine Sandis (Professor of Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire) will be arguing against philosophy mattering much at all and asking whether it’s actually harmful to oneself to think philosophically. 

Join us as our expert panel, chaired by Bloomsbury's editor Liza Thompson, passionately debate the value of philosophy. Ultimately, you, the audience, will decide whether philosophy matters. Enjoy drinks with the speakers, buy their books and take part in the debate yourself.

Constantine Sandis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire and co-founder (with Liza Thompson) of Bloomsbury's forthcoming series Why Philosophy Matters. He works on the philosophy of action and its explanation and is currently writing a book on Understanding Oneself and Others.

Mary Margaret McCabe (‘MM’) works on ancient philosophy, on ethics and on the philosophy of medicine. She is the editor of the Cambridge University Press series, Cambridge Studies in the Dialogues of Plato, and has also published on the Presocratics, Aristotle, the Stoics, and other topics in contemporary ethics and medicine.  She is now Keeling Scholar in Residence and Honorary Professor of Philosophy at University College, London (2014-17) and Bye-Fellow of Newnham College Cambridge.  She is President of the Mind Association (2016-17), and was President of the British Philosophical Association (2008-12).  

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"Though a philosopher may live remote from business, the genius of philosophy, if carefully cultivated by several, must gradually diffuse itself throughout the whole society, and bestow a similar correctness on every art and calling." 

David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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Date: Thursday 5th May

Time: Drinks from 6pm and talk from 6:30pm to 7.30pm

Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP

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