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Rewley House Weekend Events

Future Events Programme

Phlsoc members are entitled to a 10% discount on weekend courses listed below
(not applicable to the unacredited lecture series).

2017
April 08-09: Thinking of the Impossible
Mark Jago and Ira Kiourti (Lecture Theatre)
Mathematicians tried to square the circle for centuries before realising that it can't be done. Time travel stories abound, even though time travel may well turn out to be impossible. In daily life we often think about impossible things. If Jane makes an error in multiplication, for example, and comes to believe 56 times 12 is 762 she is entertaining an impossible thought. How can we understand the content of thoughts about impossible things? Philosophers have suggested that thought content can be captured in terms of possible worlds. But if a thought is impossible it is not true in any possible world. Moreover, if we admit the existence of possible worlds, we have to address the question of what a possible world is, and what it is like. Come and help us tussle with these issues.
May 13-14: The Philosophy of Spinoza
Susan James and Beth Lord (Sadler Room)
Benedict de Spinoza (1632–1677) is a major philosopher of the 17th century. Following Descartes, Spinoza developed original views about God, the universe, the human mind, and its relationship to the body and the world. Following Hobbes, he developed important views about political organization and the formation of democracy. Spinoza took geometry as a model for philosophy, and contributed significantly to almost every aspect of philosophy. The Ethics, Spinoza's best-known book, identifies God with Nature. Nature constitutes an infinite, necessary and fully determinist system of which humans are part. From such ideas Spinoza developed an ethical system in which humans find happiness through their rational understanding of the system of which they are part, and of their place within it. Come and learn about this important philosopher, in the company of others with similar interests.