What is philosophy, and what do philosophers do?
The 2010 Philosophy in the City Festival provided audiences around Liverpool with the opportunity to find out…
Ever since the birth of philosophy in Ancient Greece, people have wondered about the nature of reality, the limits of our knowledge, and, perhaps most importantly of all, how a human being can live a good and happy life. These questions concern us all, but philosophers think about them full-time!
The first Philosophy in the City festival took place in Liverpool from 9th to 24th October 2010. The festival brought leading philosophers into venues throughout the city, including the Bluecoat, Tate Liverpool, Sefton Palm House, FACT, News from Nowhere and Next to Nowhere, and Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral and Roman Catholic Cathedral.
The University of Liverpool’s Department of Philosophy organised this festival to celebrate and explore the role of philosophy within our cultural life and heritage, and to make philosophical thinking accessible to new audiences. Tying in with the ‘Touched’ theme of the 2010 Liverpool Biennial, we asked both speakers and audiences to think about how they have been touched by philosophy.
In partnership with festival venues and local community groups, the festival included an exciting programme of events aiming to de-mystify philosophy, raise awareness of what philosophers do and how philosophy happens, and provide local people with new opportunities to engage in philosophical reflection and debate.
The 2010 Philosophy in the City festival also tied in with Liverpool’s Year of Health and Well-Being. This initiative identified different ways of promoting good health and happiness: connecting with other people, taking notice of your experience and surroundings, giving and sharing time, ideas and skills, and learning something new. The many participants in Philosophy in the City will had the chance to do all of these things through conversation, reflection, and getting out and about.
- Philosopher and writer Julian Baggini talking about his latest ideas – at the Bluecoat
- Liverpool environmental philosopher Simon Hailwood in conversation with Isis Brook – at Sefton Park’s Palm House
- George Pattison, Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, on faith in the modern world – at the Anglican Cathedral
- Feminist philosopher Nina Power discussing her new book One Dimensional Woman with Liverpool’s Victoria Browne – at Next to Nowhere on Bold Street
- Gallery tour by Manchester-based philosopher Mark Sinclair – at Tate Liverpool
- Liverpool philosopher of religion Clare Carlisle debates happiness and habit with Nottingham theologian Simon Oliver – at the Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Win £100 to spend on philosophy books in Waterstone’s in the Philosophy in the City essay competition!
Write a report on one (or more) of the festival events, describing what the issues are and saying what you think. Entries should be no longer than 1000 words.
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED – THANKS TO ALL THOSE WHO ENTERED