Oxford University Press is delighted to once again partner with Blackwell’s Oxford to host a weekend of talks and discussions. After three successful years as the Oxford Philosophy Festival, the event returns this year as the Oxford Think Festival.
Celebrating the quest for knowledge and seeking to stimulate discussion of some of the big issues and ideas of our time, the festival brings together some of our most inspiring and exciting minds. Join us for a full weekend of debates and discussion, a special event on World Philosophy Day, and an exciting preview event with Martha C. Nussbaum.
All events are free to attend, but registration is strongly recommended to secure your space.
Preview event: Martha C. Nussbaum in conversation with Roger Crisp
Saturday, 10th November 2018, 13:00 GMT
For decades Martha C. Nussbaum has been an acclaimed scholar and humanist, earning dozens of honours for her books and essays. In The Monarchy of Fear, she turns her attention to the current political crisis that has polarized America since the 2016 election. She focuses on fear (“genetically first among the emotions”) and its role in stoking anger, disgust, and envy, and how those emotions, in turn, perpetuate divisive politics (sexism and misogyny especially). Drawing on a mix of historical and contemporary examples, from classical Athens to the musical Hamilton, Martha Nussbaum untangles this web of feelings and provides a roadmap of where to go next.
Tim Williamson in conversation with Richard Marshall
Thursday, 15th November 2018, 13:00 GMT
On World Philosophy Day, join Tim Williamson and Richard Marshall as they discuss how modern philosophers think and work and tackle some of the key questions surrounding philosophy in new and provocative ways. Drawing on examples throughout the history of philosophy’s successes and failures, Tim Williamson demonstrates how philosophy begins with common-sense curiosity and develops through our capacity to dispute rationally with each other. From thought experiments to deduction to theories, this talk will make you rethink what philosophy is.
Jamie Susskind on Future Politics
Saturday, 17th November 2018, 13:00 GMT
In his book Future Politics, author and barrister Jamie Susskind confronts one of the most important questions of our time: how will digital technology transform politics and society? He will argue that rapid and relentless innovation in a range of technologies – from artificial intelligence to virtual reality – will transform the way we live together. He will challenge the audience to rethink what it means to be free or equal, what it means to have power or property, what it means for a political system to be just or democratic, and propose ways in which we can – and must – regain control.
Jeremias Prassl on Humans as a Service
Saturday, 17th November 2018, 15:00 GMT
Is crowdsourcing the future of work? The gig economy promises to revolutionize work as we know it, offering flexibility and independence instead of 9-to-5 drudgery. The potential benefits are enormous: consumers enjoy the convenience and affordability of on-demand work while microentrepreneurs turn to online platforms in search of their next gig, task, or ride. Jeremias Prassl offers a lively and critical account of the gig economy: its promises and realities, what is at stake, and how we can ensure that customers, workers, platforms, and society at large benefit from this global and growing phenomenon.
Lyndsey Stonebridge in conversation with Elleke Boehmer
Sunday, 18th November, 13:00 GMT
The twentieth century bore witness to the creation of a new class of person: the placeless people; those who cross frontiers and fall out of nation states; the refugees; the stateless; the rightless. Join Lyndsey Stonebridge and Elleke Boehmer as they discuss how a generation of writers and intellectuals responded to the mass displacements of the last century, and anticipate many of the issues we confront today. Exploring the work of Hannah Arendt, Franz Kafka, W.H. Auden, George Orwell, Samuel Beckett, and Simone Weil, among others, Lyndsey Stonebridge argues that we urgently need to reconnect with the moral and political imagination of these writers to tackle today’s refugee ‘crisis’.
David Dwan on Liberty, Equality, and Humbug
Sunday, 18th November 2018, 15:00 GMT
George Orwell is part of the political vocabulary of our times and yet, partly due to this popularity, what he stands for remains opaque. His writing confirms deep and widely shared intuitions about political justice, but part of its enduring fascination is the fact that these intuitions don’t quite add up. In Liberty, Quality & Humbug, David Dwan explores Orwell’s ambiguous views of key concepts such as liberty, equality, solidarity, truth, and happiness and reveals how, through his journalism and fiction, Orwell ultimately puts his own idealism on trial.
If you are in the Oxford area between Sunday 10th and Sunday 18th November 2018, make sure to register for any of the above events. We look forward to seeing you at Blackwell’s, Broad Street!
Featured image credit: Night, lights, lantern and community by Ryan Franco. Public Domain via Unsplash.