IAI_Admin OP t1_j8wakjw wrote

In this debate, Julian Baggini, Güneş Taylor and Tommy Curry analyse the nature of the relationship between reason and emotion. The speakers provide compelling arguments both for the view that reason must be detached from emotions and the argument that reason is crucially linked to emotional experiences. Güneş Taylor argues that it is appropriate to conceive of reason and emotion as separate: reason does not have a biological or physiological basis, while emotions do. Therefore, the power of reason is that it can be divorced from emotions, allowing us to make judgements about a situation even when we are not directly affected by it emotionally, she says. But it is important to understand the interplay between reason and emotion. Julian Baggini contends that we cannot make sense of emotions without reason. Similarly, Tommy Curry rejects that idea that reason can be entirely separated from emotion. Instead, he suggests we must understand it as post-rationalisation of our emotive reactions.


IAI_Admin OP t1_j8d5yrp wrote

In this debate, philosophers Daniel Dennett, Helen Steward and Patrick Haggard debate the nature of free will.

Steward puts forward an incompatibilist position arguing we need not hold that human action is necessarily part of a deterministic causal chain.

Haggard argues we should reject exceptionalist accounts of free will, and that the vast range of the context in which actions happen gives rise to the appearance of complexity, and that we can account for that range with mechanistic accounts.

Dennett argues there is often a mistaken conflation of cause and control, and that while every decision might be part of a causal chain, that does not mean our decisions and choices are necessarily controlled. Protecting against manipulation and control on the part of another agent means protecting the only sort of free will that really matters, he claims.


IAI_Admin OP t1_j71q151 wrote

Abstract: Is the mind just a part of the world? Or is the world all in the mind? Neither, argues philosopher, physcian and poet Raymond Tallis as he puts forward his take onhow we make sense of experience. When neuroscience and Darwinism trespass into the humanities, they become, he says, "neuromania" and"Darwinitis" – unhealthy, mad and malign.


IAI_Admin OP t1_j6rnx88 wrote

In this talk philosopher Massimo Pigliucci argues twobranches of scepticism that have split in recent history – ethical scepticism and scientific scepticism – should be reunited in an attempt to define a good way of living.

Ethical scepticism, he explains, demands that we either suspend judgment on non evident matters, or act on the basis of probability given available facts. If apparent facts change, or our assessment of facts change, our judgment of the probability that non-evident claims are true should also be updated.

Scientific scepticism, he suggests, means we should demand clarity of definition, consistency of logic and adequacy of evidence for anyclaim made. We must recognise that not everyone is equally equipped to assessevery claim – Pigliucci cites Socrates’ discussion in the Charmides dialogue. Andwe must recognise we have an ethical responsibility to ensure we don’t supporterroneous claims – citing Cicero.

There are consequences for ourselves and others if we accept things such as climate denial or ant-vax movements without properly assessing the foundations of those claims.

Therefore, we have an ethical responsibility to adopt asceptical attitude towards all claims in life. We must recognise knowledge is tentative – the probability of any claims truth is never 0 nor 1 – and be open to revising our judgment in light of new evidence.


IAI_Admin OP t1_j5jbv0o wrote

Synopsis: Co-founder and editor of The Philosophers' Magazine, JulianBaggini, explores Islamic, Chinese and Japanese philosophicaltraditions, and how they are expressed in a place's infrastructure, fromsignificant buildings to street signs. Baggini focuses on the theme ofharmony as an example of a common thread in these philosophies, which weshould recognise, but should not essentialise, exoticize ordomesticate.


IAI_Admin OP t1_j462wj9 wrote

Abstract: From the 10 commandments to the Buddhist eight-fold path,traditionally we looked to religion to provide moral rules and values to liveby. Today many would turn instead to self-help books, like Jordan Peterson's 'The 12 Rules for Life', but our need for and attachment to formalised rulebooks for life endures. Yet critics argue all such codes are mistaken attempts to reduce life to a set of ideals, and are doomed to failure.

This debate explores whether having rules to live by is useful and desirable, or oppressive and ineffective.

Sophie-Grace Chappell argues while life can’t be reduced to a rule book, rules are often a useful way of navigating the complexities of life. In particular, argues Chappell, we can use moral rules to help us develop the virtues.

Massimo Pigliucci concurs that we cannot condense how to live into a rule book, but argues that rules are more detrimental than helpful. The rigidity of rules renders them unhelpful in navigating human existence. Moreover, he argues that virtue ethics is not compatible with rule making; the answer to moral questions are often circumstantial.

Simon Baron-Cohen argues that we could reduce morality to the rule of ‘do no harm’. This rule, combined with a compassion-based approach to our experiences of others, could be an effective way of navigating life.


IAI_Admin OP t1_j3vo48x wrote

Janne teller argues that disinterested pursuit is acontradiction in terms – you wouldn’t pursue anything if you didn’t have a motivation. Philosophy, she argues, is the interested pursuit of truth. All humans pursue truth, but they come from particular social perspectives which affects what they are looking for. Barry Smith concurs that the reason why anindividual is doing philosophy cannot, by nature, be disinterested; you have tobe motivated to ask philosophical questions. But he argues that once you get possibleexplanations up and running, then you have to be disinterested and not allow yourown desires to prejudice what answers you arrive at. Silvia Jonas adds thatwhile philosophy strives to arrive at unbiased conclusions, philosophers must acknowledgethat philosophical theories are always established from a particular socialcontext and likely don’t reflect ‘The Truth’. The value of philosophy, Jonasargues, is that it allows us to establish various theories and then adopt acritical stance towards them, allowing us to identify outside motivations wherein other disciplines these biases go unnoticed.